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Hyde Drive rezoning request rejected
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FILE PHOTO: A new development has been proposed for Hyde Drive in the Civic Center area. The houses would be single-family dwellings and be built for senior citizens in mind. City officials will be considering a request to rezone the property from residential low density (R-1) to residential high density (R-3). - photo by Lisa Hobbs

A zoning change on Hyde Drive has been officially rejected. 

McMinnville’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously agreed Tuesday night to reject a request from property owner Stacey Harvey to rezone his property from Residential-1 to Residential-3, a decision that bought shouts of approval from some in attendance.

“It fails,” said Mayor Ben Newman, immediately following the vote. “This is the final action on that. There is no second reading. Since it failed the first reading, there will not be a second reading on that.”

Parliamentary procedure was explained due to the measure being presented as an ordinance. Those require two passing reads for adoption. However, if the measure is rejected by officials on first consideration, a second is not required. 

In attendance with Newman were Vice Mayor Ryle Chastain and Aldermen Rachel Kirby, Kate Alsbrook, Everett Brock, Mike Neal and Steve Harvey.

Andrea Jones, one of six individuals who spoke against rezoning during a public hearing just minutes prior to the decision, asked if a request for R-2 consideration could be made now that R-3 has been rejected.

“Yes,” said Newman. “Any property owner can request a rezoning change. It would go through the same process as any zoning request.”

Requests are first reviewed by McMinnville’s Regional Planning Commission, an advisory board to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen. The measure, and the commission’s recommendation, is then presented to city officials for consideration. In the case of Hyde Drive, commission members recommended the zoning change be denied. 

At the public hearing, neighbors expressed disproval for rezoning and concerns for the proposed subdivision creating additional storm water drainage issues, destruction of the wetland and animal habitat, increased traffic congestion, and disruption in the community.

“I just want to make sure everyone understands that all we are voting on is the rezoning change,” said Alderman Harvey. “This has nothing to do with the fact that water stands on the property or whatever you think about how buildable it is. All we are voting on is whether the property changes from R-1 to R-3 and that’s it. Whether or not a subdivision goes in there, has nothing to do with what we are talking about right now. That’s not up for us to decide.”

The city’s denial will prevent the original intention of the developer which, according to statements made during the commission meeting, was to construct up to 49 single-family dwellings on the property if rezoned R-3 due to that zoning distinction allowing smaller lot sizes for each house.

Stacey Harvey said the houses would be constructed with senior citizens in mind, providing amenities to suit their needs and that includes the desire for smaller yards. 

While an exact reason for rejection was not given during the meeting, spot zoning is likely. Spot zoning is the application of zoning to a specific parcel or parcels of land within a larger zoned area when the rezoning is usually at odds with the city’s master plan and current zoning district. The property in question is completely surrounded by properties zoned R-1.