MIKE CROSS stood before the Owosso City Council on Monday, Oct. 16, not long after they had voted to approve the rezoning of 621 W. Oliver St. (the former Baker-Bentley Center/YWCA building) from R-1 (single family residential) to OS-1 (office service district). Cross, from Say Computer on M-21, along with Joe Geiger, representing Retriever Software, have previously expressed their desire to utilize the historic property for the continuation of their computer repair and software businesses. A number of area property owners have voiced concerns in regard to the rezoning, but council overruled them on Monday evening.
Cross has emphasized his plans to be a good neighbor, but residents are troubled over the reintroduction of spot zoning by the city, believing it could lower their property values, create parking and traffic issues, interfere with the historical significance of the neighborhood, and possibly put neighboring school children at risk.
A public hearing was held at the Monday, Oct. 2 council meeting and a motion was allowed so that city attorney William Brown would have time to draw up a proposal that would be agreeable to both the city and the business applicants.
Also during the Oct. 2 meeting, Assistant City Manager Sue Montenegro shared that the planning commission had not been unanimous in its decision to recommend the rezoning. She had suggested that council needed to consider establishing further conditions on the matter, which were later outlined in Brown’s proposal.
Council member Burton Fox was the only “no” vote on city council regarding the rezoning at the Monday, Oct. 16 meeting.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)