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Holts Summit fails zoning ordinance

Holts Summit fails zoning ordinance

March 23rd, 2018 by Seth Wolfmeyer in Local News

The Holts Summit Municipal Center is located on South Summit Drive in Holts Summit.

Photo by Seth Wolfmeyer /News Tribune.

An ordinance to change the Holts Summit zoning code affecting mobile homes and mobile home parks in the city failed at its final reading and passage Thursday during a Board of Alderman meeting. The ordinance has been a point of contention for the city in the past several months, being amended multiple times before it was voted down 1-3 by the aldermen.

The ordinance would add restrictions and requirements to new mobile homes and mobile home parks in the city, but would not affect any that are currently existing. It would also prevent new single-wide mobile homes from being added to any area not zoned for them.

The failing vote came after a 50-year resident of Holts Summit, Deborah Jackson, told the aldermen she was concerned the change to the code would prevent her from replacing the single-wide mobile home she lives in if she decided to update or if it was damaged.

Aldermen Larry Fedorchalk, Sharon Schlueter and Charles Chamberlin voted against the ordinance, saying they were uncomfortable with how it could affect what residents like Jackson could do with their property. Alderman Thomas Durham, the sole yes vote, said it should be possible to pass the changes without hurting those residents.

"I have a problem with ever telling somebody what they should or should not do with their property as long as it's a lawful endeavor," Fedorchalk said. "It just churns my stomach."

City Administrator Rick Hess told the aldermen they could use a board of adjustment to make decisions on individual cases like Jackson's. A board of adjustment would be appointed by the Board of Alderman, but would be semi-autonomous in making those decisions, he added.

Hess said despite the ordinance failing, it will be worked on further and brought back to the aldermen.

"We put too much work into (the ordinance) and what we've got is not adequate," Hess said. "I'll be bringing it back up."

Jackson, who thanked the city and Hess for communicating with her and her lawyer before the meeting, said she was relieved with the decision but supportive of the city's intent to improve the ordinance and bring it back.

"I understand what (the city was) trying to do with it." Jackson said. "But I think they could have went out and put feelers out and seen who was there, like me for instance."

During the meeting, the aldermen also had a first reading of two ordinances, including a smoking ordinance which would prevent smoking in public areas except in dedicated zones, and an ordinance which would restrict drone use in city limits.

The city plans to work with two people with drone experience who spoke to the aldermen during the meeting, offering support in improving the proposed ordinance.

The aldermen also decided not to further pursue working on an ordinance to raise salaries for the mayor and aldermen positions, saying raises were not needed.

An ordinance to add lights to the Holts Summit ball fields and an ordinance to allow golf carts and UTVs on city streets were also discussed with plans to work on those further in the future.