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Re-zone of property on Court Street tabled

Lennox City Council held their final meeting of 2019 on Dec. 30th.

One of the first items to address was the application to re-zone the property at 208 Court Street during the Public Hearing.

It was at the November Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, the commission voted in favor of re-zoning this property, owned by Mike Anderson, from R3 – Manufactured Housing to R2 – Multi-family Housing.

City Administrator Nathan Vander Plaats stated in a memo, that this issue has been recurrent for some time, as the property was separated by sale from the original property to which the building in question was an accessory use. With the properties now being platted separately – regardless of how that plat was approved – the building is now a primary use. Unfortunately, a shop as a primary use is not a permitted or conditional use in a residential zone.

To rectify the issue of non-compliance, the applicant has proposed turning the building into a residence, but doing so would require a rezoning to either R1 or R2. The R2 zone gives the applicant more flexibility on setbacks, yet allows overall compliance with the City’s zoning ordinances. The public hearing was closed. Later in the meeting council tabled the first reading of Ordinance 604: Re-Zoning 208 Court Street.

A Lennox resident, Tracy Korslund, spoke to the council stating that she wanted information about what happened with the building inspector and her home. She said she had requested information and had not heard anything. She also stated she intended to file a lawsuit against the city.

Mayor Tracy West said that the matter had been turned over to a different authority. No further discussion followed.

The minutes and claims were approved as presented.

Council heard an update on the status of the Countryside Addition TIF District. Consultant Toby Morris spoke to the council on speaker phone, he said he spoke with the Lincoln County Auditor and several commissioners.

Morris said, “It’s going to stand on its own credit, there’s no liability to the city or the county the way that it’s structured. It’s really just a pass through with checks and balances to ensure that the money is being spent where we designate it to be spent. It’s going towards infrastructure of roads, water, sewer, it’s not going towards developer fees and things like that nature.”

Morris will again go before the Lincoln County Commissioners on Jan. 14, 2020.

Council was presented a Library Update. Librarian Audrea Buller stated in writing that they had a record number of attendees at the Dec. 2 holiday open house with 245 in attendance. She said the Library Board was scheduled to meet Jan. 8 at 5:30 p.m.

Lennox Police Chief Will Erickson presented the police report. He stated the month was not quite as busy as the previous month with 180 calls for December. He also stated that the Department only had to tow three vehicles during the latest snow alert. He also stated that they have been working with the school to establish a School Resource Officer program.

Ambulance Director Alan Perry presented his monthly report. In the annual comparison of call volume numbers were listed as follows (year - number of calls): 2015 - 337, 2016 - 354, 2017 - 344, 2018 - 418, 2019 - projected 435 as the December totals were not in.

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