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      Rezoning approved

      The Kirksville Planning and Zoning Commission voted Wednesday evening to rezone a tract of land near Lincoln St. for commercial use.

      That means if the city council approves the measure in June, property owners could use that land for restaurants, hotels and other commercial properties.

      Developers like Dick Roberts of Kirksville said that commercial property will bring jobs and tax revenue to Kirksville,

      "It seems that as we drive across the nation, we go on the bypasses around the cities it's, like Randy [Haggerty] said, it's commercial. It's motels and fast food and so I think that Kirksville should take advantage of the traffic that's already going to go around Kirksville anyway," Roberts said.

      Roberts applied for the rezoning along with David Petre of Kirksville. Their original proposal was for three tracts of land to be rezoned, but the commission only approved one.

      Nearby residents like Heather Martin said they didn TMt want commercial property so close to theirs.

      "I very much understand that we need more people drawn to this area, especially if we're bypassing our city, we need to have lots of opportunities for jobs and for tax revenue and things of that nature, but this is a big population area of the bypass area and I just don't believe that this is the best spot for these commercial avenues," Martin said.

      Martin and about 90 other Kirksville residents signed a petition to prevent the rezoning, meaning that the Planning and Zoning Commission needed a two-thirds vote to approve the measure.

      The images at the top of the page show the proposed rezoning in relation to the new bypass (marked in purple).

      Nathan Vickers contributed to this story.