The North Bend Eagle

 

Council, planning commision debate business in residental zone

by Nathan Arneal
Published 6/15/16

North Bend’s planning commission and city council appear to be going in opposite directions concerning the potential rezoning of a property on the north edge of town.

The property in question is the former county maintenance shop on the north side of 14th Street between Maple and Chestnut streets. The ground was bought by Kent Baumert who wants to use the building as an extension of his auto repair shop in Snyder.

The property is zoned residential, but Baumert has asked that it be rezoned as commercial to allow him to operate a business there.

Planning commission chairman Gary Widhelm told the Eagle there were a couple of primary reasons that the commission unanimously recommended against altering the zoning. One is that the commission does not believe in spot zoning.

“Why zone something if you’re going to change it all the time?” Widhelm said. “We didn’t want one person to have exceptions. We didn’t want some people to be allowed to do it while other people can’t.”

The city council was presented with the planning commission’s recommendation to leave the zoning as it is at its June 7 meeting.

“I’m disappointed in the planning commission,” council president Kevin Ferguson said. “I don’t know what we do to help businesses in this town, or even if it’s a homeowner that wanted help. If we can help them and it’s common sense, then we should help them. I don’t care what that’s zoned up there. It’s been pretty much a business as long as I’ve been alive. The zoning to me is just a formality.”

 

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