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Rezoning approved for N. Spring Street homes
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McMinnville officials accepted an ordinance last week that would rezone three parcels of land in the area of Spring Street from medium density residential to residential commercial use.
Rezoning passed with a vote of 6-1. In favor of rezoning were McMinnville Mayor Norman Rone, Vice Mayor Everett Brock and Aldermen Billy Wood, Rick Barnes, Clair Cochran and Junior Medley. Casting the only dissenting vote was Alderman Jimmy Haley.
“I’m never in support of zoning commercial into residential areas,” said Haley, even before the ordinance was read and opened for comment. “I just wanted to justify my vote here in a little while.”
Three parcels of land are located at 402 N. Spring Street, 109 Walling Street, and 406 N. Spring Street and owned by Scott B. Wilson, William L. O’Kain and Teresa C. Chastain, respectively. Each property owner asked to be rezoned from R-2 to R-5, which means the properties can be used for residential and light commercial.
During a public hearing held last month, officials heard concerns from surrounding property owners about a “nursing home” or “boarding home” being placed at 406 N. Spring Street. The property has been for sale for several years and recent interest has been shown by Gaither/ Generations CEO David Gaither.
Gaither attended that meeting and assured officials that his intention was never to put either on the property. Instead, he has always wanted to purchase an older home, renovate the inside, and use it for office space.
At that time, officials passed on first read an ordinance that would remove the wording in the R-5 zone that allows boarders and another ordinance that would reduce the signage allowed to 12 square feet.
This month, officials passed the ordinances on second read. Immediately following, officials held their first vote on rezoning.
“We did everything to protect the people,” said Brock. “We removed the boarding home wording and reduced the signage allowed. If either of those things had not been done, I would have voted against it.”
Brock spearheaded the changes in the zone after residents in the area voiced their concerns to him.
“I tried to figure out every way to vote against this,” he said. “I really did. I just couldn’t once those changes were made.”
Ordinances require two passes before the board. Officials must vote to rezone one more time before the properties are officially considered R-5. The next regular session is April 26.