The Ottumwa Courier


June 3, 2013

To rezone or not to rezone?

OTTUMWA — The tug-of-war continues in deciding whether to rezone the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic.

After Mayor Frank Flanders vetoed the City Council's 4-1 vote to rezone the Ottumwa Veterinary Clinic from R-1 residential to C-1 commercial, two councilmen have placed the item back on Tuesday's agenda.

On Thursday, Councilmen Jeremy Weller and Bob Meyers requested a motion to re-pass and adopt the ordinance, which will require at least a 4-1 vote, said City Clerk Amanda Valent.

Flanders said the ordinance was an example of spot zoning and the clinic's neighbors' concerns were warranted, saying it would be "unfair favoritism of one over many."

He previously told the Courier that a switch from residential to commercial zoning is a large detractor from residential home values and if the clinic were to be sold, "it would open the possibility that a business undesirable for [that] traditionally residential neighborhood [could one day move into] that location."

Weller said that if the clinic were forced to relocate to a C-1 district, it would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase the land, a financial burden that would eventually lead to hiked rates at the clinic.

"Why not let him expand on the property he's owned for 27 years?" Weller said. "What I don't think people are grasping is it used to be in the county, it got annexed in and granted a non-conforming legal use [permit], so as long as they don't change the footprint of the building and have adequate parking, they can use it for whatever."

One citizen asked Weller if he would support a property being rezoned to a commercial district next to his own home. No, he wouldn't, Weller said.

"But I have houses next to me. I didn't move in next to a veterinary clinic," he said. "If I had moved in next to a building that had a business in it and 15 years down the road it needed to expand ... then I would support it, because I knew it when I bought a house next to a business. It's just a chance you take."

Text Only
  • Parks Dept. has long list of projects

    OTTUMWA — The Parks and Recreation Department has approved a list of capital improvements for the next two years that includes the installation of handicapped-accessible swings and new park bathrooms.

    July 9, 2014

  • 0710 Farmers Market Color Photo 1 -L -M Fresh food improves community

    OTTUMWA — Every summer across the Midwest, food stands pop up on gravel roads, and farmers markets are filled with a variety of home-grown products. Finding a fresh selection of healthy greens and juicy fruits isn't as hard as you might think. Accord

    July 9, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0703 OTT Heart boy photo A Heartfelt Miracle OTTUMWA — It’s funny how wishes can change so completely in just a few weeks. But laughter wasn’t the reaction of Jeff and Mary Penrod.The Ottumwa couple’s son, Brandon, was 18 years old when, in February, Mary took him to the Pella clinic to get loo

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703 OTT River Hills parking lot color photo -L -T River Hills expansion progresses

    OTTUMWA — Expanding River Hills Community Health Center downtown continues to be a priority with the Ottumwa City Council. Earlier this week, the council authorized city staff to survey the property, prepare a draft developers agreement as well as pr

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo

  • Street repair program begins OTTUMWA — If you think roadwork projects in the city of Ottumwa are just about complete, think again. This week, the Ottumwa City Council awarded its preventative maintenance contract for sealing cracks in asphalt and concrete pavement roads througho

    July 2, 2014

  • A new look OTTUMWA — The 300 block of East Main Street in Ottumwa will be getting a facelift. During a public hearing earlier this week, the Ottumwa City Council gave its OK to the plans and specifications to renovate 15 buildings’ storefronts in downtown Ottum

    July 2, 2014

  • City won't tolerate bad behavior

    OTTUMWA — A newly designed policy to establish standards of behavior was presented to Ottumwa City Council on Tuesday night.The new policy’s introduction on Tuesday, demands city staff and elected officials exhibit professional behavior when they int

    July 1, 2014

  • 0702 OTT library grant color photo -T -L -M Ottumwa Public Library updates genealogy room

    OTTUMWA — The Ottumwa Public Library is the recipient of a Bright Ideas Community Enrichment Fund Grant from the Ottumwa Regional Legacy Foundation. The Friends of the Ottumwa Public Library group gave $5,520 to put toward a new microfilm reader. The

    July 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0625 OTT Riverfront Renaissance color photo -L -M Riverfront Renaissance begins mapping out ideas

    OTTUMWA — It was serious work to play with stickers and maps Tuesday evening. Concentration was on more than 70 faces as colored dots found their way up and down several maps of the river flowing through downtown Ottumwa. The Ottumwa Regional Legacy

    June 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0624 OTT Marine photos Marine mourned by family

    OTTUMWA --- Adam Wolff's extended family was able to enjoy a bit of time with him before he deployed. "He came back in March, after his [Marine Corps advanced] schooling in North Carolina," said his sister, Angela Malone. "We had a dinner for him, a

    June 23, 2014 1 Photo 1 Story

AP National