City officials reclassified a residential property for commercial use during a meeting Monday.
The request — which passed 4-2 by the council — was made by Councilman Shawn Malone and Dave Eggers who plan to develop an area at 501 N. O’Brien St. for a heating and air business. Malone abstained from the vote.
The council debated the action that required several variances for the business, which will be operated by Terry Craig.
Councilman J.J. Reinhart, who previously supported the change, said he took a more careful look and changed his mind. He said the business might never come to fruition or relocate, leaving the situation unpredictable for the next business.
“I don’t know what will happen in five or 10 years,” he said. The change would limit the city’s control if Malone’s project didn’t work out — leaving the property vulnerable to a less appealing business.
“I wouldn’t want a dog kennel in there or something,” Reinhart said.
Councilman Jim Rebber shared the same view and voted against the measure along with Reinhart.
Malone and Eggers sought approval from the city Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday and received the OK for a smaller front and back yard, less width and overall smaller lot. The C-5 classification requires a 15,000-square-foot lot and the property is around 5,628, according to the application for the variance. Each variance passed 4-0 by the BZA with Ken Pfaffenberger abstaining, according to minutes from the meeting.
The pair also needed a variance to construct a 14-by-40-foot building. Malone told council members a fence would be needed for storage.
Malone said no one opposed the business there and said it was welcomed as a change in the area, saying the area held trash for some time.
Councilman Lloyd Hudson said he supported the project and said the two should be allowed to proceed if they were willing to pursue all the paperwork to complete it.
‘If they’re willing take the gamble on getting variances, that’s on them,” he said before voting for the change.
Councilmen Dave Earley, Jerry Hackney and Matt Nicholson also voted for the measure.