Council approves rezoning 5-2


Shown above in red is the area council has discussed rezoning from light to heavy manufacturing. In a compromise resulting from resident concerns, council approved the rezoning of only the middle section of the land. The north, as well as the sliver of land to the south, will remain light industrial.
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Marysville City Council closed the book on what has been a contentious rezoning process for a property near Weaver Road.
Council members voted 5-2 Monday night to approve an amended rezoning application for five plots of land between Weaver Road and Industrial Parkway. Henk Berbee and Alan Seymour were the dissenting votes.
The applicant, a barley malting company, was seeking a change from light to heavy manufacturing for the land to allow a barley malting operation.
The application was amended as a compromise for concerned residents. Residents expressed concern at previous meetings at the possibility of the facility failing or leaving, paving the way for more disruptive facilities to take advantage of the new heavy zoning.
The compromise saw the council approve the rezoning of only the middle section of the land. The north, as well as a sliver of land to the south, will remain light industrial.
Matthew Cull, an attorney with Kephart Fischer, LLC, speaking for the applicant, said this creates more of a buffer between the development and nearby residents.
Cull described the distance from the development to the nearest residence as being three football fields.
Though council member Nevin Taylor commended the applicant, Victor Thorne, for his willingness to compromise, he expressed continued concern at the traffic situation out of Weaver Road.
Cull said the applicant has reached out to engineers and traffic experts in recent weeks to get information on their options. They’re still looking at their options, and are negotiating with abutting property owners.
“No one is saying, ‘Here, take this property and use it as access,’ yet,” Cull said.
Cull said they’re looking at a minimum of three access points. He said if the development does need to use Weaver Road, it will be exceptionally expensive to carry out improvements to it.
Under recommendation from City Law Director Tim Aslaner, council tried keeping discussion of the application away from the development itself. Aslaner said the actual facility had no bearing on what was a rezoning application at the end of the day.
Council member Tracy Richardson said the applicant has shown a willingness to compromise after council recommended he look into knocking down the amount of land being changed to heavy manufacturing.
She said the applicant has done a good job of listening to residents, and she asked them to continue that.
“I wish there was some certainty with regard to Weaver Road,” she said. “We don’t, but I’m hearing these assurances that we’re really working together and collaborating.”
In other council news:
-Council held the first readings of legislation putting the city’s 2018 budget in place. In addition to new firefighters hired this year, the budget includes funding for four new city positions – a new wastewater apprentice, parks and recreation maintenance worker, a customer service receptionist and police records clerk. The budget will be discussed at greater length at the next city council meeting.
-Council passed a PUD application for a mixed-use development on Industrial Parkway across from Benny’s Pizza.

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