Minutes of Zoning Commission Meeting held April 10, 2012.
I. Call to Order. Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Commission members present were Susan Nelson, Dean Tjaden, Tami Vetter and Dennis Carney. Also present were Jeff Sherman, Zoning Administrator, and Misty Day, Assistant Administrator. Roll call of Commission members was taken and four (4) out of five (5) members were present with Board Member Glen Zubrod being absent and Board member Dean Tjaden coming in after roll call. Jim Howe, David Fullerton and Tim Fox with Charles City Area Development were also present for the hearing.
II. Approval of Agenda. A motion to approve the Agenda as presented was made by Tami Vetter and was seconded by Dennis Carney. The motion was unanimously approved.
III. Approval of Minutes. A motion to approve the March 13, 2012, minutes was made by Tami Vetter and was seconded by Susan Nelson. The motion was unanimously approved.
IV. Old Business. Chair Susan Nelson signed the Rules of Procedure approved and adopted at the March 13, 2012, meeting subject to changes.
V. New Business.
A. A public hearing on an Amendment to the Floyd County UR-T1 Urban Renewal Plan was held. Joe Myhre from NIACOG presented the Urban Renewal Plan as amended prior to the hearing, but he did not attend the hearing. Assistant Day gave a background as to why the amendment was being proposed. Assistant Day stated that the amendment included a road improvement project for 180th Street that was a result of a grain terminal facility that was recently approved by the Board of Adjustment with the condition that the road be paved. In order to utilize County TIF funds for this project, the Urban Renewal Agreement had to be amended to include 180th Street as this road project was not initially proposed in the plan. The proposed amendment includes a 7 mile stretch of 180th Street starting at Zinnia Avenue to Glass Avenue, but the conditional use permit for the grain terminal facility only required the road to be paved from Zinnia Avenue to the entrance of the facility which is about 1.2 miles. There is a bridge within this 7 mile stretch that may need some work done in the future, so the County wanted to make sure that this entire stretch was included in the amendment. The amendment provided to the Commission included a map showing the location of the proposed road improvement project and a legal description of same.
David Fullerton inquired as to where the money for this project would come from and if it was even legal to take this money from one project and use it toward another. Mr. Fullerton also questioned how many years it would take for the property taxes to pay off the money spent on 7 miles of road pavement proposed in the amendment. Assistant Day pointed out that even though a 7 mile stretch was included in the plan, it would not necessarily mean that the entire 7 mile stretch would be paved, rather it was included in case any issues arise in the future that needed to be addressed. Jim Howe stated that he was of the opinion that the whole 7 mile stretch should be paved now when the grain terminal is built, not in the future, otherwise the road will deteriorate and the current bridge is not adequate. Chair Susan Nelson inquired as to whether that was their only objection. Mr. Fullerton stated that they had put in a lot of objections to the Board of Adjustment and they were not heard so they wanted to make sure they followed up on this issue. Chair Nelson asked if they were not allowed to give their objections or if the Board did not agree with them and Mr. Fullerton stated that he did not feel their objections were heard and that the Board only heard one side of it. Mr. Howe added that the hearing with the Board of Adjustment had a poor representation as only 3 out of 5 Board members showed up and 2 of them were persuaded by the Board of Supervisors ahead of time. Mr. Fullerton added that they had an attorney present for the hearing who requested a feasibility study and the Board of Adjustment did not even consider that.
Chair Nelson brought Board Member Dean Tjaden up to speed on the proposed amendment and reason for the amendment. Board Member Dennis Carney asked for more information on the facility and if it were just steel bins along the railroad tracks and it was determined that it was. Chair Nelson wondered what the basis is for the Commission to decide as they do not have a record as to what the Board of Adjustment’s decision was and there is no petitioner telling them why they should decide one way or another. Board Member Tami Vetter asked Tim Fox if he had any input. Mr. Fox stated that the Commission is not committing anyone to anything and they are not spending any money, they are amending the district for the potential of future development. Assistant Day also stated that this is the County wanting to amend a County Plan and there is really no need to petition the Zoning Commission to do that. Mr. Howe stated that there are other projects that this TIF money could pay for that seem more of a priority than this project and the County is still going to have to come up with money to pay for half of this project, and he questioned why Floyd County taxpayers should pay for a new road for a fortune 500 company. Chair Nelson stated that it was not in the Commission’s scope to decide how public money was spent. Assistant Day stated that there is an appeal of the Board of Adjustment’s decision on file with the District Court and that it is ultimately up to the County Supervisors to decide how they want to utilize this money. There are other projects in the Urban Renewal Plan that have not yet been completed and if the Supervisors decided that the TIF money should be spent on another project rather than the 180th Street project, that would be in their rights to do so, this just opens up another possible project for them to choose from. Chair Nelson invited Mr. Howe and Mr. Fullerton to contact the Supervisors with their concerns.
A motion to approve the Urban Renewal Plan Floyd County UR-T1 Economic Development District amendment legally described as ‘Right-of-way 66 ft. wide on 180th St. between Zinnia Ave. and Glass Ave., Floyd County; and all that part of the West Half of the Southwest Quarter of Section Twenty-nine lying West of the railroad right-of-way, subject to railroad easement, all in Township Ninety-six North, Range Eighteen West of the Fifth P.M., Floyd County, Iowa,’ was made by Tami Vetter and seconded by Dennis Carney. Roll call vote was held and the motion was unanimously approved.
VI. Adjournment. A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Dean Tjaden and seconded by Dennis Carney. The motion was unanimously approved.
Jeff D. Sherman