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Zoning variance okayed for former B&D property PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Friday, 29 April 2011 16:43

By Tina Kitt

The Wauneta Breeze


Noting that standard property line setbacks for new construction would prohibit further development on some irregular shaped lots in Wauneta — especially those zoned for heavy industrial or general commercial use — the Wauneta Village Board approved a zoning variance during a special board meeting April 18.

Robert Hohl of Wauneta recently purchased the former B&D lot at the corner of Arapahoe and Kiowa Streets.

He is working on plans to construct a building measuring 16-feet by 26-feet, utilizing a portion of the existing foundation where the old B&D station stood before it was destroyed in a fire. The former B&D building measured 30-feet by 60-feet.

Hohl plans to open a laundromat at this location, possibly expanding the operation to include an automated car wash in time.

Because that property abuts the railroad tracks, it was zoned for heavy industrial use when the town’s revised zoning regulations and maps were updated in 2004.

Buildings and businesses already in place were grandfath-ered in, but new construction and business uses were impacted by the revised regulations.

Over the course of the past two months, the issue has been weighed and considered carefully by the planning and zoning commission as well as the Wauneta Village Board in a series of public meetings and a public hearing.

In March the Village Board voted to accept the recommendation of the planning and zoning commission to change the property from heavy industrial zoning to general commercial.

The change was not needed to accommodate the planned use of the property, as laundry facilities are permitted uses on both industrial and commercial zoned properties. Rather, the change was needed due to the size of the lot, which measures 88 feet at its widest and 90 feet in length. The setbacks from the street required for construction for property zoned for heavy industrial use is 90 feet, making this particular lot unusable for any development unless zoning accommodations were made.

Even once the decision was made to approve the switch to general commercial, a variance was still needed to allow the existing foundation to be used, as commercial property requires setbacks of 35 feet on the front and sides and 10 feet on the rear of the property.

Off-street parking for this property will more than meet zoning requirements noted board members, who convened last week in their capacity as the Board of Adjustments.

While there were no adjoining property owners who contested the change in zoning or the variance, community member Loyd Christner of Wauneta did object on the grounds that existing regulations should not be changed but strictly adhered to as written and approved, without exception. Christner said he will consult an attorney and is prepared to take legal action against the Village.