Council tables rezoning lots in Arbor Hill Addition

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BROOKINGS – The Brookings City Council voted Tuesday to table Ordinance 21-032, which would rezone a portion of Arbor Hill Addition from a Residence R-3 Apartment District to a Business B-2 District.

Mike Struck, director of Community Development, said Ordinance 21-032 was recently amended to allow for urban medium intensity, which includes single-family, multi-family, schools, mid-sized parks, churches, commercial and mixed uses.

“The applicant is proposing to rezone approximately two lots, just under one acre,” Struck said. The lots are on the east side of what will be Lucerne Avenue and adjacent to 20th Street South.

Public comments

Jay Goldhorn, who lives kittycorner to the northwest of the lots, said he was one of three families who were notified of the rezoning, adding “quite a few residences can be impacted.”

“We understand that density needs to be increased in the city to provide housing, but transitioning from residential to business in that area will kind of break up what I think others will see as a natural transition, where it moves from family residences to multi-family residences to then maybe businesses, which would be closer to 22nd Avenue and then further down as of the (interchange) worked in the next couple of years,” Goldhorn said.

“I think there’s concern from residents in that area that the rezoning of this at this time to that type of business class is not what we’re looking for,” Goldhorn said.

Council comments

Councilor Joey Collins asked how close the lots were to houses.

“To the south of this, it would be on the east side of where Lucerne is going to be installed. There are lots all the way down to 22nd Avenue proposed to be the single-family attached, zero-foot side yards, so you’ll see density there,” Struck said, adding there will be twin homes, maybe triplexes and quads on the east side of Lucerne. On the west side of Lucerne, it will probably be single-family homes.

The future land use area extending east toward 22nd Avenue calls for urban medium intensity, he said. Closer to 22nd Avenue and 20th Street South, it will be a little higher intensity of urban development opportunities. More to the west will be commercial uses.

“Just the way that retail is working these days, they want to be on major transportation corridors, and that 22nd Avenue and 20th Street corridor – in particular that intersection with the interchange project – is gonna be one that we anticipate in the future will see quite a bit of commercial activity,” Struck said.

“So as you transition to the west, you will see some commercial uses, but they’re more of what we would term destination type uses, not necessarily an impulse or retail type, … where you’re pretty much going out of your way to get to that type of business. Could be medical, health care related; could be some sort of a service-type industry that’s provided,” Struck said.

Collins asked if property value would go down.

“We don’t have hard-and-fast facts on that,” Struck said, adding property values might go down if there isn’t a compatibility between uses. “We haven’t seen those specific instances in this area or other places in the community.”

Councilor Wayne Avery asked when the land use map had changed.

The process started with the Planning Commission in July or August and came to the council after the Planning Commission had acted on it, “so it was a recent change,” Struck said.

City Manager Paul Briseno asked if there was an overlay district on 20th Street South and would this rezoning be impacted by it; and asked if the B-3 have to follow the buffering requirements.

“This is part of the commercial corridor design review overlay district, so it goes through a design standards (review)” which goes to the Planning Commission and comes to the council, Struck said. “It’s also subject to the landscaping buffer requirements.”

Mayor Ope Niemeyer asked if there could be requests for bids all the way to 22nd Avenue, and Struck said it was possible.

“All the property owners along there are preparing themselves for when the interchange project is complete,” Struck said.

Council ‘struggling’

Councilor Nick Wendell said he was struggling with the issue.

“It seems to me that the overpass project is what would be triggering this rezoning and the potential of commercial development,” Wendell said, adding he thinks the city may have more time to consider options because the overpass won’t be completed for a while.

He said he’s worried the council will extend the B-2 “further west than we wish we had because we feel like we have to take action tonight.”

Collins said he agreed with Wendell.

“I’d like to see that area just stay as residential and move all of the businesses to that big area right there,” Collins said.

Councilor Holly Tilton Byrne asked if the property owner would like to give a reason why it’s necessary to do the rezoning now and if there were any types of businesses being considered for the location.

James Drew of CD Properties said zoning is the first step, and they’re trying to get the zoning in place in anticipation of business expansion due to the interchange.

“You try to get that in place early so you can plan,” he said, adding the other parcels were planned in 2017. “That gives you an idea of how long it takes to get to a developable stage where you’re ready to build on it.”

There are other areas along 20th Street South that are zoned B-2, “so this isn’t an isolated area,” Drew said.

“We just thought it made sense from a development standpoint. I think there’ll be an opportunity for businesses to grow along 20th Street South in the future, especially with that being a major corridor in our community, so we’re just trying to get things in place now,” Drew said, adding there weren’t any specific businesses lined up.


Niemeyer moved to table the item so it can be discussed in the future.

“I’m just seeing a little bit of hesitation here,” he said.

“I’m just not sure what will change between now and the next time that we talk about this,” Councilor Leah Brink said. “To me, it just seems like we’re delaying.”

“I think it might give the public a little more opportunity to make comments to us. We’ve heard from some of the local landowners, maybe a few of the other residents along 20th that might want to see what’s going on here,” Niemeyer said.

The vote to table was unanimous.

Contact Jodelle Greiner at [email protected]


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