Cynthia Goodman, who would like to
build a flower shop on the two lots at 1103 and 1129 Fifth St.,
across from the new Casey’s General Store, asked the council to
override the planning commission’s decision and rezone the lots C-2
instead of the present R-2.
Wendell Lewis, Goodman’s father and
part owner of the lots, and Goodman’s husband, Steve Goodman of
Harold Goodman Excavating and Trucking, also addressed the council.
Lewis said he and other family members
have owned the lots they inherited for the past 24 years and have
not been able to sell them during that time.
"We’ve paid taxes and mowed the weeds
on the lots since Father died, and nobody has showed interest in
buying them for residential property," he said.
"I don’t blame them," he added, noting
that between the Postville Courthouse and Lincoln Parkway there are
only six residences. The rest of the properties fronting Fifth
Street are commercial, he said.
On Aug. 15, the planning commission
voted unanimously not to allow the rezoning, Cynthia Goodman said.
She said five neighbors attended that meeting to protest changing
the zoning, including the two who live directly behind the lots she
plans to develop.
She said she was not sure why the
planning commission turned down her proposal but she did not believe
all of the members received copies of her petition and other
"It is not my intention to go in and
cause trouble for the homeowners in the neighborhood," she told the
council. She said she plans to construct a paved parking lot and a
privacy fence, curbs and gutters along the back of the property.
Also the lots need to be graded and leveled, and her husband, Steve
Goodman, would do that work.
Grant Eaton, sewer plant manager, said
he did not see a problem with drainage, and leveling the lots would
be a benefit to the adjacent properties. "We work with Steve, and he
would probably improve the drainage," he said.
Alderman Verl Prather said he had
talked to some of the other owners of the property, who were in
agreement they would sell to Cynthia Goodman. Goodman said the Fifth
Street location would be ideal for her shop because it is not near
other flower shops in town.
Prather said he had received "a lot of
mail on this and would like to know why it was so strongly opposed."
Some of the mail has been positive, supporting the rezoning, he
said. He asked if the council could put stipulations on the
development of the property to assure there is a privacy fence, curb
and gutter, and dust-free parking lot, but City Attorney Bill Bates
said that could not be done.
Alderman Glenn Shelton said he attended
the planning commission meeting and was surprised by the negative
vote. He said he was definitely in favor of the rezoning but would
not be at next week’s voting session of the city council.
Bates reminded the council that an
override of the planning commission’s recommendation takes a
two-thirds vote, which means seven positive votes. An absentee is a
The rezoning will be on the agenda at
the next meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 3.
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The council also discussed complaints
about the parking restrictions downtown. At present, parking is
prohibited from 2 to 5 a.m. so the street department can sweep
streets and remove snow.
Mayor Beth Davis said she has been
receiving complaints from people who live in downtown apartments
about the parking restrictions. She suggested giving passes of some
kind to the growing number of people who are now living downtown.
Prather reminded the council that
before the restrictions were in place, the city received complaints
from businesses that streets and sidewalks were not cleaned.
Street Superintendent Don Osborne said
it would be very hard to deal with snow removal if cars could be
parked all night. He said he would rather deal with auto owners
individually than try to educate the entire public.
"Do we want to try to micromanage this
thing?" asked Alderman Pat Madigan. "We can micromanage it or see it
as what benefits the community as a whole."
Alderman Steve Fuhrer suggested a joint
committee meeting of the police committee and the ordinance and
zoning committee to discuss the problem. "It is not going to be easy
if we try to do something," he said.
In other business, Police Chief Rich
Montcalm said the department was applying for a $22,907 grant from
the Illinois Department of Transportation to pay officers to look
for seat belt and child safety seat violations.
He also said
the department would do an accident study of the Ninth and Elm
Street intersection to see if a four-way stop sign is warranted. The
city received a petition with 15 signatures asking for the present
two-way stop to be made four-way.
Before the work session, the council
heard a presentation by Kevin E. Heid from First Midstate Inc. of
Bloomington on issuing another general obligation bond. The city has
been issuing the bonds since the early 1980s, and the money must be
used for capital improvements such as work on infrastructure.
Heid said the maximum bond the city
could issue without a referendum for a three-year term would be
$465,000 and the maximum for four years would be $620,000. The city
has outstanding general obligation bonds of $175,313 at present,
which will be repaid by Dec. 1, before the next bond issue, Heid
The bonds will be sold locally, and
there is an "excellent market right now," Heid told the council. He
suggested the council take advantage of the low interest rates in
effect at present.
bonds will not raise taxes of city residents but will maintain a
constant tax rate, he said. The council will have a public hearing
on the proposal Sept. 16 at 7:15 in the council meeting room.