Commission OKs 3 of 4 requests

By Sheryl Roadcap -

SIDNEY — Three requests, including a rezoning of a parcel of land, were OK’d by the Sidney Planning Commission Tuesday night, but a fourth request for a vacation of a portion of Sixth Avenue died in a tie vote.

The first issue before the commission was a request of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of MSGA Development, for the rezoning of the property north of Russell Road and between Interstate 75 and St. Marys Ave.

Barbara Dulworth, community development director, said the request is to increase the area which is zoned B-2, community business district, and rezone the remaining area from I-2, general industrial to R-3, multi-family residence district and R-1, single family residence district. The property is currently wooded areas and used for crop farming.

The rezoning will result in two areas of B-2 district: 59.971 acres adjacent to St. Marys Road, at the northern end of the property; and 12.907 acres adjacent to Russell Road approximately centered on the Fourth Avenue right-of-way. The 104.9 acres would be zoned residential with this proposal, with 84.861 acres of R-1 district through the center of the property, and 20.044 acres of R-3 district zoning in two areas. One on the east side of the property adjacent to the industrial uses on Commerce Drive, and one on the west side of the property between the veterinary clinic and I-75.

A public hearing was held on the matter and adjacent neighboring property owners Chip Wells and Chris Geise both individually spoke to ask several questions about potential development effects to their properties. Neither objected to the development during the hearing.

Two replat requests were also approved Tuesday. The first was the request of Choice One Engineering, on behalf of Mansfield Oil Co, for the approval of a replat of one lot to create two new lots. The property is located in the I-2, general industrial district, at 429 and 435 S. Vandemark Road. The property is currently developed with a fleet/contract gas station and a warehouse.

The replat will result in two new lots, one with 0.850 acres (429 S. Vandemark Road) and the other with 1.488 acres. In addition, city staff requested the dedication of a small portion of right-of-way at the intersection of Vandemark Road and Campbell Road for future intersection improvements.

The second approved replat request was that of Shelby County to replat 11 parcels to create one new lot at the Shelby County Fairgrounds on Fair Road. The replat will result in one new lot with 28.185 acres. This replat includes dedication of 2.779 acres of Fair Road right-of-way, which is currently a right-of-way easement.

The rezoning and replat requests were unanimously approved and the recommendations will be sent to the Sidney City Council for approval.

The final item before the commission Tuesday was the request of Chris Harlamert, on behalf of Rocky Creek Farm, for the vacation of a portion of Sixth Avenue. The area in question is from the north property line of the Rocky Creek Farm parcels, south to the southern terminus of that section of the Sixth Avenue right-of-way.

This right-of-way, and the property adjacent to the right-of-way is the subject of a development agreement between the city of Sidney and Rocky Creek Farm to install street, utilities, and all necessary infrastructure no later than Jan. 1, 2021. At this time, Dulworth said, no infrastructure plans have been submitted to the city for review and approval.

The Sixth Avenue right-of-way was originally dedicated as part of a subdivision plat approved in February 2009. The dedication of right-of-way was required because the owner of the property at that time, American Legion, desired to split a lot owned by them, which fronted on Fourth Avenue. Dulworth said, because the lot split would result in a lot with no street frontage, the subdivision plat and dedication of Sixth Avenue right-of-way was required.

At the time of the original subdivision plat, the proposed developer R&J Properties, requested a delay in the construction of the street and utility infrastructure. The developer stated an intent to develop this land and complete the construction of necessary infrastructure at a future date. In order to protect the city taxpayers and ensure the extension of the required infrastructure would be completed within a specified amount of time, Dulworth said, a development agreement which includes specific requirements for improvements such as streets, curb and gutter, sidewalks, underground utilities, and parkland dedication was established.

Harlamert told the commission he was requesting the vacation because of the unknowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic regarding future development.

City staff recommended for the commission to not waive the requirement of a section of the subdivision regulations and also to recommend Sidney City Council to deny the right-of-way vacation petition. When the item came up for a vote, it was split with commission members Patricia Miller and Merrill Asher voting “no” and Chair Tom Ehler and David Gross voting “yes.” Former commission member Heather Dunn was not present Tuesday. She resigned in December because she moved out of Sidney.

Due to the spit vote, the request essentially “died” Dulworth told the Sidney Daily News. She noted if Harlamert wanted to continue forward in seeking the vacation, he could submit the request to appear before Sidney City Council for further consideration at a future City Council meeting.

By Sheryl Roadcap

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.

Reach the writer at 937-538-4823.