for, against rezoning
30, 2000] The
Lincoln City Council heard arguments at the Tuesday evening work
session both for and against rezoning the property at 404-416 Woodlawn
Road, east of the Kroger store, to allow the construction of an auto
parts business. The Plan Commission has already rejected the petition
for rezoning the properties from R-2 residential to C-1 commercial,
but the final decision will be up to the council.
property, owned by Don and Marilyn Buelter, consists of a garage-type
building used for storage and a house that has been damaged by fire.
The proposed use is a 6,080-square-foot auto parts store with 27
parking spaces. The developer of the property has asked that his
identity remain confidential.
Johnston, who lives on the corner of Woodlawn and Palmer, asked the
council not to rezone the property because of safety hazards. He said
he had no information on the number of accidents at that site but
called the traffic "horrendous."
children come down Elm Street," he told the council. He suggested
that council members "sit there from 4 to 6 p.m." and then
decide how important the safety issue is.
Johnson, who lives across the street from the proposed development,
said he was also against changing the zoning, because of traffic
congestion. "Traffic on Woodlawn is terrific, and a new store
would make it worse."
that the shrubbery was untrimmed and the condition of the site was
"the worst Iíve ever seen it."
Kendrick, who lives across the street and said she had just celebrated
her 85th birthday, also asked the council not to change the zoning,
because of the traffic.
Buelter, who with her husband, Don, owns the property, said the
prospective developer came to her and "didnít ask for a tax
abatement or an enterprise zone." She said the developer is
interested in the property because of the high volume of cars going by
on the combined state routes 10 and 121.
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Dan Boch spoke of "internal growth, new uses for older
properties," and said that with the zoning changes, the taxes
paid to the city would increase $16,200 from the present $2,509. He
said statistics show 17,800 vehicles pass the site each day.
Benny Huskins said he believed the council should take the
recommendation of the Plan Commission and reject the zoning request.
City Attorney Jonathan Wright pointed out that the council would need
a two-thirds vote, that of seven members, to rezone against the Plan
also said he thought it was "only fair to know who is going to be
building there." Boch replied that the developer had asked for
confidentiality. Mayor Joan Ritter said that in her meeting with the
developer, he had stipulated that he would build an auto parts store.
Patrick Madigan said he believed the opinion of the current residents
was important. "I live one and one-half blocks from the area. I
would like the council to give some thought to the safety factors and
the people in the area."
business, the council discussed postponing the proposed road
improvement on Wyatt Avenue until the school year is over, because of
the traffic problems that would result.
council also heard an opinion from City Attorney Wright that there is
no conflict of interest for Alderman Steve Fuhrer in voting on a
liquor license ordinance. A letter from Lester C. Van Bibber III, of
Citizens for Justice, Inc., requested that Fuhrer not discuss or vote
on liquor license issues because his wife is owner of the Blue Dog
Inn, which has a city liquor license.
Wright pointed out that
Fuhrer is not an owner of the establishment and "the simple fact
of marriage" to the owner does not constitute a conflict of
to Mayfair residents
30, 2000] Although
many people try to attract birds to their yards, some residents of
Mayfair are trying to do just the opposite ó find a way to get rid of them. This
group would like to have a city ordinance revised so they can legally
use a noise-making device called a "bird-banger" to chase
away large flocks of grackles and starlings that roost in their trees.
birds, which come in flocks of hundreds, even thousands, according to
the Mayfair residents, are not only a nuisance but a health hazard.
Patricia Birk of 160 Eaton Drive told the Lincoln City Council at its
work session Tuesday evening that she fears her husband, who is being
treated for a severe pulmonary condition, may become infected with
histoplasmosis, a viral lung disease sometimes spread by birds.
introduced Brendon Bacon, a Lincoln boy who has recently had the
disease, and his mother, Stacey, who also addressed the council.
Brendon does not reside in Mayfair but visits grandparents who live
also spoke about the nuisance caused by the roosting flocks.
"Three years ago my back yard was so bad I couldnít take a step
without walking on bird droppings and feathers." To frighten the
birds away, she said, "I stood outside for hours banging
bird droppings had ruined the paint on cars parked in the streets, and
the odor was so pervasive people could not sit outside.
Several sources, including
the Illinois Department of Public Health, recommended the use of the
bird-banger, a pistol-like device which shoots a cartridge into a tree
full of roosting birds. The cartridge does not kill or injure the
birds, but frightens them by exploding with a loud noise, Birk
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noise, however, has brought complaints from nearby residents who say
it disturbs them and their pets. After responding to these complaints,
Police Chief Richard Ludolph told the Mayfair residents that the
device violated the city noise ordinance and suggested they talk to
their aldermen, Joseph Stone and Michael Montcalm.
officers who came out as a result of the complaints were "very
professional," Birk added.
just want you to let us use the effective means we have," Birk
told the council. "If you want to make us get permits, thatís
fine." She presented the council a petition with the signatures
of 86 Mayfair residents and a note from her husbandís pulmonary
Ludolph said he has visited the Mayfair area and agrees the residents
have a legitimate problem with the roosting birds. However, he also
noted that the bird-bangers are very loud, and shooting 10 or 15 of
the devices could be disturbing to people and pets.
is a difficult problem," he told the council. One solution might
be assigning specific times when it would be legal to use the devices.
Montcalm said he believed the health issue should outweigh the noise
problem and asked that the ordinance be amended quickly so the council
could vote on it at the next meeting Sept. 5. The committee agreed to
meet at 6 p.m. on Sept. 5, before the regular board meeting, to
discuss the ordinance change.
"Iíd like to see it
moved on quickly," Alderman Stone said. "The birds are there