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PIONEER VILLAGE – While the battle may not be over, residents opposed to a rezoning request off John Harper Highway could go home happy.
The Pioneer Village City Council received a big round of applause at its August meeting and didn’t have to do anything for the appreciation.
Countryside Enterprises was seeking to rezone a tract on the south side of John Harper Highway.
The plan was to rezone the IG General Industrial property to R-3 Residential to build apartments.
The only problem, which wasn’t detected until the last minute, was that the property was actually zoned B-2 Central Business.
City attorney Mark Edison said that the change in the actual zoning of the property would result in an invalid rezoning application.
Attorney Eric Farris, representing the applicant, requested to redraw the application due to a “fatal” flaw.
Edison said the council really had no choice.
In looking at the property, Edison said it appeared that in 2002, 11.5 acres on the north side of John Harper Highway was rezoned to commercial. The following year, the south side was also rezoned to commercial.
In researching the matter, Edison said zoning officials found the rezoning in their minutes but didn’t see it recorded on the map.
Councilmember Peggy Druin said she felt the city had already rezoned the property to commercial.
The plan to build over 60 apartment units drew the ire of surrounding residents during the July public hearing. Complaints included existing problems with the sewer system, traffic, lowering property values and having apartments so close to a residential community.
Edison said the application process for another rezoning could begin immediately. However, it would have to go through the entire zoning process, including notification of adjoining property owners and legal notification in The Pioneer News.
The news was good for the 50 residents who gathered once again in Becknell Hall.