Supervisors approve zoning change in Villisca

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors has agreed to proceed with an ordinance amendment changing a Villisca property from residential to commercial zoning.
At the regular meeting Nov. 15, the supervisors received a petition for rezoning filed by Joshua Kendrick for property at 2663 U Ave., near Villisca, specifically, lots 15 and 16 in south Villisca in the NE-NE of section 28-71-36. The request was to change the zoning designation from residential to commercial.
Plans were to construct an outdoor storage area for boats, RVs, and other types of large equipment, as well as construct a fence with a lockbox entry. However, there were no plans to construct additional buildings on the site for storage.
A public hearing took place at the Board of Supervisors meeting December 6, with Josh Kendrick in attendance. Also present was adjacent property owner Larry Abraham. Abraham said he had multiple questions regarding the project that he was hoping to be addressed. Abraham said the first involved whether or not the existing trees would be left along the north property line to make way for the new fence. Kendrick responded the existing trees would remain.
"We don't have an exact line or a marking for a fence there, but it would be inside of those north line trees," Kendrick said. “We’ve discussed adding more trees or bushes to the north side trees to make it look nicer and block light and noise.”
Abraham also asked whether or not there would be anything to help obscure headlights from shining on his property.
"I'm curious to know if they will be putting any sort of tarp along that fence to block out vehicle lights coming and going in and out of the storage area," commented Abraham.
Kendrick admitted that was not a scenario he had thought of, but he was open to anything that would help make the project more favorable to the adjacent property owners.
"We don't have a specific bid for a fence just yet, and we've contacted companies in the area that we would like to have come out and measure and discuss those options. If that's a concern of anybody around there, then that's something we can definitely look at doing. We are definitely looking to be good neighbors, and if that's a concern of anybody, I don't think adding that expense to a fence would be that drastic of a change," advised Kendrick.
The waterline to Kendrick's property traveled underneath Abraham's property, and was disconnected upon Kendrick's request. Abraham asked if there was a need to reconnect that water line, but Kendrick reiterated they had no need or desire for water on that property, and the water line could remain capped.
Abraham also requested that any special lighting be turned in a way it was not shining on his property. Kendrick said that would be easy to accommodate.
“Any lights are mainly for security reasons, like any other farm light you’d have next to a barn to give people peace of mind that their property is relatively secured. That’s another reason why we want restricted access to the gate to give an extra layer of security,” explained Kendrick.
Kendrick said at this point, they were merely going through some of the formal processes and making sure they had proper permission.
“We haven’t started any sort of building or secured specific financing or set any dates for fencing to be constructed. The only activity has been clearing out some old trees and buildings that were very run-down. I don’t have a specific open date for anything, we just want to make sure everyone is on board,” said Kendrick.
Zoning administrator Barry Byers said a public hearing was held Nov. 3 with the planning and zoning commission. During discussion, there were a few items that Byers thought could be included as restrictions on the property as conditions of the rezoning request.
“One of the items noted was use of downcast lighting, to make sure they’re not casting light onto neighboring properties, and privacy screening for the fence. It was discussed they would have a security gate with a keypad and limited hours of access, as well as the possibility of security cameras,” Byers commented.
According to Byers, the project was approved for recommendation to the Board of Supervisors for approval, and Byers felt the Kendricks were more than willing to meet any demands that the supervisors put on the rezoning ordinance to make sure everyone was happy.
The zoning ordinance would take up to three hearings for approval. Byers said the intent of the Dec. 6 public hearing was to determine what special conditions the supervisors wanted to put on the ordinance, and then revise the ordinance for later discussion and approval.
The supervisors agreed to update the zoning ordinance to include specifics for downcast lighting, screening for the fence, and a security lock box for the gate. Approval of the zoning ordinance will take place at a future meeting of the supervisors.

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