Council considers rezoning, liquor permit requests

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — The business owners requesting the rezoning of land near the intersection of Main Avenue and Jefferson Street from asked for it to be tabled until the purchase of property is finalized during the public hearing held at the Sidney City Council’s meeting Monday. The request was not tabled, but will be revisited at the next regular meeting.

The public hearing was coupled with the introduction of an ordinance for the request of Brian Winemiller to rezone the 12 parcels of land from a B-1, local business, to B-2, community business district. Winemiller intends to purchase the property at 624 N. Main Ave. and open an auto repair shop, including towing and recovery. However, Molly Winemiller spoke on behalf of herself and Brian Winemiller, who was also in attendance, to asked council to table the item.

She explained she and Brian thought they would have a signed deal to purchase the property when they began taking steps to rezone the area. She said after they contacted affected property owners, the owner of 624 N. Main Ave. indicated they want to “somewhat renegotiate the deal.”

“We contacted the neighbors; got their approval. They think that we’re going in there — we are a reputable business (Brian’s Towing & Recovery) — and we are going to make the area better,” Molly said. “We are worried that if we don’t end up getting the property, that something else is going to go in there that is not going to be aesthetically pleasing. And we have put our business reputation on the line with all these neighbors thinking that we are the ones going to be in the property. Plus, we love Sidney and don’t want it to turn into a junk property.”

She requested for council to table the request until the Feb. 25, once they have a signed deal before proceeding. Mayor Mike Barhorst asked if they wanted to table the request right then or wait until the next meeting when it appears on the agenda during the Feb. 25 meeting, and if they are not ready to proceed at that time, to table it. Molly said they would like the item to return to the agenda on Feb. 25, and at that time inform council if they want to table it if there is no deal.

Prior to the tabled request, Community Development Director Barbara Dulworth explained the property in the rezoning area at 218 Jefferson St. is one half of a two-family dwelling and is currently zoned at B-1, local business district. The other half, 220 Jefferson St., is in the R-2, single and two-family residence district. Approving the rezoning request would include rezoning that parcel to become an R-2 district, to align it with the other half of the two-family dwelling.

The item will return for further consideration at council’s next regular meeting on Feb. 25.

Council was also introduced to an ordinance by Gary Clough, assistant city manager/public works director, that would amend a chapter dealing Sidney’s right of way .

“It is necessary to comprehensively plan and manage access to structures and facilities within the rights of way to maximize its use, promote efficiency,” Clough said.

Two of the major amendments proposed are:

• Revision of the compensation for occupancy in the right of way from a calculated amount yearly to a set amount of $1,000 per year for less than 10 miles of right of way occupancy, $4,000 per year for more than 10 miles but less than 20 miles of right of way occupancy, and $10,000 for occupancy of more than 20 miles of right of way.

• Addition of a new section that addresses the repair and maintenance of any pavement cuts on roads that have been newly resurfaced or microsurfaced for less than five years in order to help protect the investment Sidney makes into resurfacing and maintaining its roadway system.

Clough said the city must wait a 45 day period until the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio receives the submission of changes before it can be adopted. The ordinance is scheduled to return for further consideration on April 8, pending the commission’s decision.

In other business, council adopted two resolutions, and they are:

• To declare the necessity for repair/replacement of certain sidewalks in the city of Sidney and requiring abutting property owners repair or replace the same. Council member Darryl Thurber and Vice Mayor Mardie Milligan spoke about sidewalks needing replaced near trees in the right of way lawn area. Thurber asked if it would be possible to remove a tree instead of having to pay yearly to repair the sidewalks near certain trees. Milligan questioned if the property owners were to agree to plant a new and appropriate tree for the space, could these types of trees come down. Barhorst said it would be an issue to bring before the Sidney Tree Board for consideration.

• To appoint Mary Ellen Paulus to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Paulus will fill Randy Rose’s remaining unexpired term that will expire June 30, 2023. She also currently serves on the Sidney’s Compensation Commission.

City Manager Mark Cundiff led a discussion on the liquor permit request of Murphy’s Craftbar and Grill for a D5L liquor license at 110 E. Poplar Street. A D5L license allow spirituous liquor for on premises consumption only, beer, wine and mixed beverages for on premises, or off premises in original sealed containers, until 2:30 am.

This is the first request made under the city’s newly established Downtown Revitalization Area, Cundiff said. The Sidney Police Department looked into whether there were any reasons to object and found nothing alarming or unusual to object to the liquor permit request. Council exhibited silence on the matter, indicating consent for Murphy’s Craftbar and Grill to move forward.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.