In the end, the St. Clair Board of Aldermen didn’t have to do anything in order to appease a couple who hope to sell their property on the city’s north side as a residence instead of a business.
During the board of aldermen’s first November meeting, it was shared that Jeff and Geralda Hancock’s property at 1360 Baskett St., which has housed two businesses within the last few years but is now vacant, is zoned residential and can be advertised for sale as such.
The Hancocks had appeared before the aldermen last month and before the St. Clair Planning and Zoning Commission in early October requesting that the parcel, which was thought to be zoned C-2 general commercial, be changed to R-1C single-family residential so they could attempt to sell it as a home. Public hearings were conducted before both the planning board and the board of aldermen before discussions by those entities took place.
“An exhaustive amount of work has been done on this item by many people,” Mayor Ron Blum said during the Nov. 5 aldermen meeting.
City Administrator Rick Childers agreed.
“We have done an exhaustive search through minutes and ordinances,” he said. “From what we’ve been able to determine, our records in 1968 show the property was zoned R-1 (residential). In 2008, a conditional-use permit was approved by planning and zoning with the understanding that the property was C-2 (commercial). But we have no documents that it was ever C-2.
“My understanding is the property is R-1 with a conditional use that maybe was inappropriate. ... But the conditional use does not affect the zoning.”
After Blum asked if everyone understood the explanation, Childers again said that “as far as we can tell, the property is zoned residential.”
So, no action was needed to be taken by the aldermen, and the Hancocks can advertise the property for sale as a home instead of a business.
City Building Inspector Jeremy Crowe conducted much of the research on the property.
“According to city records, the planning and zoning commission reviewed an application for a conditional use permit (in) 2008 to utilize this property as a chiropractic practice,” he wrote in a letter to Blum and the aldermen. “Within this application, the applicant states that the current zoning classification is C-2 general commercial district. I have been unable to locate any documentation through city records that state this property was rezoned from R-1C to C-2 within the past 42 years.”
Geralda Hancock said she and her husband went before the city about four years ago when they purchased the land and house to get it rezoned to commercial.
“When we purchased it, we thought it was residential,” Geralda Hancock said during one of the previous meetings. “We came to you guys then to rezone it.”
The property was rezoned at that time, she said.
The agenda for the Sept. 8, 2008, planning and zoning board listed an “application for conditional-use permit for 1360 Baskett St. residence to be used as a chiropractic practice. Property already zoned as C-2.”
Under the 2008 CUP application, the Hancocks listed the zoning as C-2, the present use of the property as “vacant” and the historical use of the property as “residential.”
“Property already is zoned C-2, which would lend itself well to a chiropractic office. ... It will be professional in appearance yet not be changed enough so it will blend in with existing adjacent residential property,” the application stated.
Planning and zoning board minutes from the Sept. 8, 2008, meeting, signed by Turner, who also was chairman at that time, stated the CUP for “Baskett Street residence” was approved.”
Crowe did say that according to Franklin County records, the property currently is zoned C-1.