St. Clair took a step toward making Commercial Avenue more of a complete business district this week when its board of aldermen approved a lot consolidation and rezoning of a parcel of land on the southeast side of the city.
The rezoning request also was the focus of a public hearing before Monday’s regular board meeting, but no comments were made.
The consolidation and rezoning were recommended by the city’s planning and zoning board, which met earlier in September.
The consolidation combines six lots of Plat 2 of the Cedar Crest subdivision at 600 S. Commercial Ave. into one parcel. The zoning change is from R-1B single-family residential to C-2 general commercial.
The bulk of the discussion during the planners meeting centered on the city’s quest to expand its business sector and helping that along any way it can.
“We need to lean toward business on Commercial Avenue. That’s my opinion,” planning board member Doug Komo said. “After all, the street is named ‘Commercial Avenue’ and not ‘Residential Avenue.’”
The property, owned by Larry and Sharon Parks, fronts South Commercial and is between Oak and Maple streets. The consolidated parcel totals .84-acre and has access from both Commercial and Oak.
Building Inspector Jeremy Crowe said the Parkses plan to operate a lawn mower repair store on the property.
A preliminary plat of the area shows there are three private residences that abut the Parks property. They are owned by Hugh Doane, Gary Anderson and Irene Rosch.
There also are homes across Oak Street owned by Robert Wideman and Ruth Anderson.
Crowe said during the planning and zoning meeting that he had not yet spoken to those property owners about the consolidation or rezoning.
“All of the property around there is zoned residential,” planning board Chairman Myrna Turner said. “But there are other businesses in the area.”
An alley on the Parks property already has been vacated by the city.
“To help move the town forward, we need to be looking at Commercial (Avenue) to get it going,” Komo said.
Both measures were unanimously approved by 4-0 votes.
On Monday during the public hearing, Mayor Ron Blum reminded all those in attendance that the consolidation and rezoning were recommended by the planners.
Ward 2 Alderman Travis Dierker also serves as a member of the planning and zoning board. He said that the planners discussed the parcel and came to the conclusion that it would best be suited for commercial use.
During their regular meeting that followed, the aldermen unanimously approved two ordinances. One approved the minor subdivision of the Cedar Crest Addition Plat 2. The other approved the rezoning of the property to commercial.
Also during Monday’s board meeting, Blum recommended appointing John McGlenn to the city’s planning and zoning board. He replaces Euvalda Young, who resigned earlier this year.
McGlenn is the husband of Ward 2 Alderman Barb McGlenn, who abstained from the vote. The other three aldermen supported Blum’s recommendation.