Scenic Regional Library

The Union Board of Aldermen has tabled a request for a prospective business owner to have a living area on the second floor of her salon and spa.

The business was planned at the former administration building for Scenic Regional Library at 304 Hawthorne Dr., next to the old Union branch. The library district still owns both buildings.

Katie Lin had been seeking the conditional permit to allow the dwelling in her business because the property’s zoning does not allow for it. But the request was tabled at the board’s Monday, May 11, meeting, after Lin told city officials she is no longer buying the property, and real estate agents said the deal fell through.

“They wanted to keep their options open in case this deal comes back around,” City Engineer Jonathan Zimmermann told aldermen.

Zimmermann recommended the agenda item be tabled instead of voted down. That means Lin won’t have to restart the approval process if she decides that she wants to buy the building in the coming weeks.

The prospective buyer used a provision in the recently passed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to release herself from the contract, Scenic Regional Library Director Steve Campbell said in an email.

“I guess I can’t blame her, under the circumstances,” he said.

The request has been discussed at several board of aldermen and planning and zoning commission meetings, including as the only item on the agenda at an April 27 planning and zoning meeting.

Zimmermann said at a previous meeting that the city had a similar request to allow a dwelling in a B-2 zoning a few years ago. But that request also fell through.

The library moved into its new building on North Highway 47 last year, putting the Union library and district administrative offices under one roof.

Before it became the library administration, the building served as a NAPA Auto Parts store, with apartments in the back, Campbell said. The library district purchased it in 2003 because it wanted the parking lot that came with it.

After initially using the building for storage, it was renovated in 2015 and administrative staff moved in to the building, which has a 2,400-square-foot main floor.

“We replaced everything in the building, from HVAC and windows to the parking lot, data and plumbing,” he said.

As for the former library building across the parking lot, Campbell said several people have looked at it, but the district hasn’t received any offers to buy it.