(Ottumwa)— It’s two down and one to go. That’s the score card on a request by an Ottumwa veterinarian to change his property on North Court from R-1 residential to C-1 commercial.
Dr. Steve Menke has operated his business at 2305 North Court since the 1980’s as a legal nonconforming use, a designation which allows permits the use but restricts expansion or significant alterations to the structure.
The Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic has merged with a Minnesota Company and Menke wants to expand his business.
Despite the objections of property owners in the area, the city council approved the second reading of an amended ordinance that would allow for the zoning change.
The City Plan and Zoning Commission has found the property to be appropriate for the C-1 zoning classification and has approved the zoning request.
The zoning change will allow Menke to construct a new building or expand the existing building.
Once again neighbor Jane Fritz spoke out against the zoning request saying she is frustrated by a lack of information, a lack of answers and what she calls a done deal. She also said changing the zoning to C-1 commercial could allow any number of businesses to go up in that location.
Another neighbor Kevin Saylor said he has concerns the city council could make a provisional zoning change. City Attorney Joni Keith said the council cannot make provisional requests of individuals under the city code. Saylor also said he doesn’t under stand how the council can approve the zoning change with out knowing specific plans Menke has.
A third a final reading of the amended ordinance will be held at the May 21st council meeting.