A rezoning request by the Seventh Day Adventist Church at 517 N. Spring Street was accepted by McMinnville Planning Commission members Tuesday and is on its way to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for final approval.
Church representatives requested last month the property be rezoned from R2, medium-density residential, to R5, a mixed use of residential and commercial.
While pastor Haley Roth said the zoning change would allow the church to operate a thrift store and generate revenue, church representative Josephine Abbot said the church could be for sale and the change in zoning would create more interest in the property.
Planning Commission members hesitated to allow the change because of spot zoning, meaning the property did not connect to any other R5-zoned property. The property borders R2 property to the north, south, east and west, and a portion of the property borders R3 zones to the east.
At that time, staff planner Jonathan Ward warned against spot zoning.
“Everything around there is residential,” he said. “This could be interpreted as an issue of spot zoning, which is poor zoning principle. You are not accomplishing your plans for the city with spot zoning sections here and there.”
Members tabled the measure and asked Planning and Zoning supervisor Josh Baker to contact the property owners between the church and the closest R5-zoned property to see how they felt about being rezoned to R5 to prevent spot zoning.
Baker informed members Tuesday he contacted all three property owners by phone.
“There are three property owners between this property and an R5 zone,” said Baker. “I contacted all three property owners. One came in and signed a form saying they were OK with their property being rezoned to R5. The other two gave verbal consent, but they did not come in and sign the forms.”
A change in a property’s zone does not increase property taxes. However, it does allow for more permitted uses of the property. Permitted uses of R5 include single-family detached and two-family attached dwellings, accessory apartments in single-family detached dwellings, and the taking of boarders or the leasing of rooms by the family residing on the premises.
Permitted uses that would attract the attention of business owners include a bed and breakfast establishment, tea rooms, professional offices for doctors, dentists, lawyers, etc., TV, radio and satellite dish antennas, and limited retail business uses such as a dress shop, florist, gift shop, antique store, and craft store.
With what appeared to be a consent from property owners, commission members Anthony Pelham, Amie Hodges, David Marttala, Jim Brock and Jimmy Bonner voted unanimously to recommend the zoning change of all four properties to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Baker says the recommendation to the board is all or nothing.
“This is a package deal,” he said. “We are going to recommend the whole thing to be rezoned or do nothing to avoid spot zoning. This issue will come down to if board members feel R5 should go down Spring Street.”
No time has been set for the board to consider the recommendation. However, because of public notice requirements and the need for a public hearing, the measure will not be heard in October.