by Jessica Hickey, staff writer

The Owosso Planning Commission saw more than the usual number of guests at its Monday, May 23 meeting, as a particularly tangled rezoning item was discussed. Sheridan Auction Service sought approval for the rezoning of its property at 1007 S. Washington St. from residential and light commercial to heavy commercial. Due to a clerical error on the part of the city, however, only the front portion of the property was rezoned at the last commission meeting. The commission planned to vote on rezoning the remainder of the property at this month’s meeting.

The rezoning application did not go unchallenged. Several property owners from the surrounding neighborhood spoke up at the meeting, expressing concerns about the lots facing S. Park St. being changed from residential to commercial. Robert Moberg emerged as spokesperson for the neighborhood, summarizing their concerns about decreased property values, increased traffic, and loss of resale value for the homes in the neighborhood. “I have nothing against the business…but I can’t see where this helps Owosso,” he said. Moberg and other residents voiced concerns about the quiet neighborhood changing with the addition of the outdoor storage area for auction items and the possible construction of a 60×100-foot pole building on the property.

The applicant requested the rezoning in order to obtain a dealer license which would enable him to sell cars in his online auctions. The rezoning of the front portion of the property accomplished this. However, the applicant will not be able to store cars on the property unless the back portion of the property is also rezoned. In response to the neighbors’ concerns, the commission voted unanimously to deny the rezoning request for this portion of the property.

At the same meeting, the commission also approved a site plan review for the construction of a new office building at 123 S. Shiawassee St., which is owned by Advanced Eye Care and Contact Lens Center. The 4,325 sq. ft. building will replace the small office currently in use at that address. The new building will include 28 parking spaces and a row of white spruce trees in place of fencing. After reviewing the plans and asking several questions of the general contractor for the project (Wolgast Corporation), the commission approved the site plan.

Planning Commission Responds to Citizen Concerns on Rezoning was last modified: May 31st, 2016 by Karen Elford