Tuesday, June 10, 2014
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Regional Planning Commission focus remains on Bike Trail
Maple Club rezoning recommended

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[June 10, 2014]  LINCOLN - The Logan County Regional Planning Commission met on the 4th of June for their monthly meeting. The meeting focused on continued efforts on the Bicycle Trail Plan proposed for Logan County.

The meeting began with David Blankenship joining the Planning Commission as a member. Blankenship is replacing Bill Martin, as was the case with Blankenship’s appointment to the Logan County Board.

Bicycle Trail Progress

Will D’Andrea and Bret Aukamp provided news on IDOT to the Commission. A few years ago, IDOT began offering grants for transportation planning projects. At that time, the Commission decided to use transportation related grant money to fund the creation of the Bicycle Trail Plan. D’Andrea said another cycle of grants will be issued soon, and wondered if the Commission will want to apply once again.

D’Andrea said he believes that should the Commission apply for the grant, the natural progression would be to move on the next phase of planning for the bike trails. However, D’Andrea also noted that there may be other ideas the Commission wants to bring forward.

“I like the idea of continuing with the bike trail plan, but the airport could be worth exploring, too,” said Keith Snyder.

Fred Finchum said that Atlanta would like to work towards acquiring funds to build better roads for the heavy truck traffic that moves through the town. IDOT grants could be used for such a project. Finchum also said continuation of the bicycle trail plan sounds like a good use of the funds. “Bike planning is a real high priority,” said Finchum.

Aukamp said an alternative might be to use the money as part of a greater effort towards asset management within the county. In other words, use the grant to fund the process of organizing the various assets and data collections within the Highway Department. In addition, Aukamp said he also feels that continuing the progress on the bike trail plan would be a good choice.

“That would be a little more tangible at this point, for this entity and the public to see the return on those funds,” said Aukamp.

Chairman Bill Graff said that the amount of money received with the grant would not be enough to get a start on larger projects, such as building roads that can hold more weight in Atlanta. “We could probably do phase two of the bike plan and get something done,” said Graff.

The grant would provide somewhere between $11,000 and $14,000. A clear total is unknown at this time. The Commission members voted unanimously to apply for the grant with the intention of using the money to continue working on the Bicycle Trail Plan.

Commission member Jim Vipond said he has been working with a group of individuals who would like to see walking paths created as part of the overall [Trail] Plan. If they know that the Commission is actively looking to acquire more funds, it will help to bring in more people from outside who want to be part of the project.

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Land Rezoning

A petition came forward to the Planning Commission for a rezoning of land from manufacturing to business. The Grace Lutheran Church is looking to rent the Maple Club in the near future. As a church cannot be placed in land zoned for manufacturing, a change needs to be made.

Currently, the Maple Club is not in use. The owner of the property has already agreed to rezone the land before it is rented by the church.

The church would only be using the Maple Club building. A representative of the church (whose name was not given) was present at the meeting to say that the church plans to rent the Maple Club with the possibility of purchasing it left open in the future. The building would likely only be used on Sundays. The representative said he did not expect traffic to become an issue, and the landowner has not had a problem with traffic so far.

D’Andrea said that if the church should decide to leave, a business designation would allow for a greater variety of operations to be built on the property than a manufacturing designation.

The Commission members voted to recommend the rezone to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA will provide their recommendation to the County Board.

Before the meeting ended, D’Andrea read a letter from Tim Evans stating that his father Dave Evans has decided to resign his seat on the commission due to poor health. The letter indicated that Evans was grateful for the opportunity to work with the Commission members.

Commission members present were Lincoln Chairman Bill Graff, Vice Chairman Jim Fuhrer, Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, Jeff Hoinacki, County Highway engineer Bret Aukamp, David Blankenship [replacing Bill Martin as a representative of the County Board], Fred Finchum, Blair Hoerbert, Jim Vipond and Gerald Lolling. Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea was also present.



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