Council to decide if new duplexes replace old trailer court

Old trailers or new duplexes: the decision is up to the Kirksville City Council.

A Kirksville property owner wants to replace a rundown trailer court with six duplexes, but the Kirksville City Council has to give its approval for the rezoning of the land.

Ken and Debra Read own the nine lots at the corner of First and La Harpe streets.

At April's meeting, the Kirksville Planning and Zoning Commission denied Read's request to rezone all nine lots from R-1 Single-Family Residential to R-2 Two-Family Residential, which would allow duplexes to be built on the land.

So Read modified his rezoning request and is now asking the city council to approve the rezoning of just the six lots along La Harpe Street where the Catalpa Grove Trailer Court sits to allow for the construction of six duplexes.

We asked Read why he wants to go with duplexes as opposed to single-family homes.

"The demand for single-family homes over there doesn't justify the cost of those lots,â?? said Ken Read. â??We need to put two rental units on a lot to justify, make it economically feasible."

We wondered why Read bypassed the Planning and Zoning Commission this time around.

He told KTVO he went straight to the city council with his latest proposal because time is of the essence.

He wants to get the project moving before the construction season is over.

"We still have to put in a sewer system over there,â?? said Read. â??We still have to do the sewer additions and getâ?¦get all the paperwork done. It all has to be done through the state, and it takes time, and so we will be out of summer. Right now, we were hoping to even get a couple of rental units up and available before the end of the summer."

Under Readâ??s current proposal, the three lots that face First Street would remain single-family residential.

The Kirksville City Council is holding a special council meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday, May 10, 2012, to consider Read's revised rezoning request.

City Manager Mari Macomber said Mayor Richard Detweiler is in favor of Read's proposal, but she's not sure about the other council members.

Below is the report Macomber prepared for the city council:


Council Meeting Date: May 10, 2012 Agenda Item: 2

Report Prepared by: Mari E. Macomber, City Manager

Recommended Motion: To approve an Ordinance Rezoning Lots 1 through 6 of the West End Development Subdivision from R-1 Single Family to R-2 Family Residential.

Background: Kenneth and Debra Read requested the rezone of property located at the corner of LaHarpe and First Streets from R-1 Single Family to R-2 Family Residential. A public hearing was held before the Planning and Zoning Commission on April 11. The Commission voted 5 to 2 with 1 abstention against the rezone request.

The owners, after digesting the comments from the public hearing, have modified their request and are now asking the City Council to consider rezoning only those lots (1-6) that front LaHarpe Street from R-1 Single Family to R-2 Family Residential. The original request before Planning and Zoning included those lots that fronted First Street (lots 7-9). The owner is agreeable with retaining the R-1 Single Family Zoning for these 3 lots.

At present, the property has space for 24 trailers. In 2011, there were 13 trailers located on this property. In the last few months, the owner has been working to eliminate the trailers with the intent to construct duplexes on this property. At present there are only 4 trailers with active water service. The use of this property as a trailer park was grandfathered in many years ago.

Seven citizens spoke at the public hearing. The majority of the citizens lived on First Street. One resident lived on Shelby Street to the north of the property. Three First Street residents and the one on Shelby asked that the property not be rezoned. The same first street residents expressed appreciation for the potential cleanup of the trailer park. The remaining three citizens had questions for the Commission including was the legal description correct, were sidewalks required and could the trailers be moved back in? There were also a comments concerning parking. There is no parking allowed on First Street. Attempts were made to contact all seven citizens.

Fiscal Impact: The property being considered for rezoning has been a trailer park for many years. The trailers have exceeded their useful life and are an eyesore in this neighborhood. The owner plans to construct 6 duplexes, which should increase the assessed value of this property. There will be no City monies expended on this project.

Respectfully submitted,

Mari E. Macomber

City Manager