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Rezoning on Downsville Pike denied

July 29, 1998|By MATTHEW BIENIEK

Thirty residents who oppose a property rezoning near their neighborhood showed up at the Washington County Commissioners meeting Tuesday afternoon.

The commissioners gave them what they wanted, defeating the rezoning application on a 4-0 vote.

The rezoning had been requested by 632 Joint Venture, a general partnership, on 10 acres on the southeast side of Downsville Pike near its intersection with Halfway Boulevard, north of Interstate 70. The partnership sought a change in zoning from residential multi-family to highway interchange.

The rezoning would have opened the area up to gas stations, restaurants, and hotels, according to a finding by Beth Evans, assistant county attorney.

Residents opposed the development the rezoning would have allowed, said Clyde Bartles Sr., who lives on Sand Wedge Drive near the property in question. "We bought out there to have a quiet neighborhood," he said.

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Construction off an interchange ramp between I-70 and Downsville Pike is already slated for the area.

Commissioner Lee Downey said he didn't think that 632 Joint Venture made a case that the rezoning was compatible with the existing zoning.

Downey said the noise, lights, and 24-hour operation that would have been likely with a rezoning would have made life difficult for residents of the area.

Residents were happy with the commissioners unanimous vote against allowing rezoning, they said.

But they weren't happy waiting for a commission meeting that started an hour and 20 minutes late, said several residents.

"For public servants they were very inconsiderate,' said Mary Barry, of Par Three Drive.

Commissioners were apologetic.

"I'm ashamed of the way things happened today," said Commissioner John Shank.

Several residents leaving the meeting said they accepted the commissioners' apologies.

But Helene Frazier wasn't so sure. She said she had prior commitments and had to make changes in her schedule to attend the meeting, she said.

The board meeting was scheduled to begin at 2 p.m., with a decision on the rezoning set for 3 p.m. Most of the residents concerned about the rezoning arrived early.

County administrator Rodney Shoop entered the meeting room at 2:47 p.m to announce there wasn't a quorum of commissioners to begin.

The meeting started at 3:20 p.m. with commissioners James Wade, John Shank, and R. Lee Downey present. Three commissioners are needed for a quorum.

Commissioner Ron Bowers arrived in time to vote on the rezoning. Commission President Greg Snook arrived after the vote.

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