The Petersburg Borough Assembly will decide again on whether residential lots in the Olsen Subdivision should be rezoned to commercial after the ordinance failed due to a lack of a second motion in its first reading last week.
Richard Burrell had been previously cited for a zoning violation for storing commercial equipment for his business, Rock-N-Road Construction, on his lot at 105 Arness Heights Dr. Since then, the planning and zoning commission voted to approve Burrell’s request to change the zoning designation to a commercial lot provided he create a greenway buffer and build a fence that would block a view of equipment from the bordering residential neighborhood.
In a letter to the planning and zoning commission that the assembly received, Burrell explains that he purchased the parcel with the stated intent of using it to store RNR equipment. He lists several reasons why the zoning change should be granted.
“RNR has been at this location…for 33 years. The Hungerford Hill Rd. vicinity is and has been historically and predominantly used for commercial and industrial purposes,” the letter states.
Aaron and Katrina Miller have requested a similar zoning change for their lot at 107 Arness Heights Dr.
Their current property has a conditional use permit for a net shed. In a letter to the commission, they justify their request because their commercial fishing business is expanding and the area allowed in the permit has become too small and that their lot, along with Burrell’s, already butts up against other commercial and industrial lots.
They have also agreed to create a greenbelt and construct a fence blocking the view of their commercial gear.
Local residents wrote letters in support and against Burrell’s and the Miller’s requests.
John Murgas, a nearby property owner, wrote in support of the zoning change.
“…one does not have to drive very far anywhere in Petersburg, no matter what the zoning classification is, to find many violations of “storage” requirements and limitations as defined in our local Ordinance,” Murgas’ letter states.
Alan Murph surveyed and subdivided the tract of land in 1986. He objects to a zoning change.
“The area was zoned residential and was supposed to remain residential,” the letter states. “It would be unfair to the families that presently have built homes and live in the subdivision to zone these lots anything but residential.”
Cindi Lagoudakis said she didn’t second the motion because changing the zoning designation isn’t the appropriate mechanism to resolve the issue.
“I don’t think it fits the borough code or rationale,” Lagoudakis said.
According to borough code, rezoning is the only legal means of changing the permitted use of land or structures.
Mayor Mark Jensen and Assembly member Kurt Wohlhueter think Burrell and the Millers deserve a formal review and discussion of the request by the assembly. Normally if no assembly member seconds a motion to consider an ordinance, it fails. The issue will be put back on the assembly’s agenda during its second meeting in March.