The Rolla Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night voted unanimously to recommend a rezoning request to the Rolla City Council.
Jerry and Janice Larson, of Punta Gorda, Fla., own the property at 100 S. Spilman Ave. They have filed a request to rezone the property from R-1 (single-family) to R-3 (multi-family) district zoning.
Three property owners within 185 feet of the lot have filed petitions against it, which will require eight votes by the 12-member council, a two-thirds majority, to pass the rezoning.
Although the neighbors oppose the change, the city staff supports the rezoning.
“This is a vacant lot,” Community Development Director John Petersen said of the property at the corner of Spilman Avenue and Black Street.
Petersen said the Larsons want to build a single four-plex on the 11,780 square-foot lot. The zoning law requires a minimum of 10,500 square feet for a new four-plex, so the lot meets the requirement, Petersen said.
Petersen said the open space on the property, since the building is constructed, will be 5,909 square feet, well above the 3,331 square feet required.
The property has R-1 zoning on the south and west sides, R-2 on the north and C-3 on the east.
“This is a neighborhood in transition,” Petersen said. In 2007, the Walgreens pharmacy construction resulted in commercial zoning several lots north of the Spilman property.
Petersen said construction of a four-plex would provide a transition from commercial development to lower density residential further west along Walker Avenue and Black Street.
Only one person spoke during the public hearing. That was Rolla contractor Jim Larson, brother of the property owner.
Jim Larson showed pictures of a four-plex similar to what is being planned. It is a two-story townhouse concept with two residences per side.
Larson said the rents will be “in the 700s” for the two-bedroom, 2.5-bath apartments.
Voting for the recommendation to the council were commissioners Janese Martin, Robert Anderson, Jack Morris, Greg Sawyer, Dennis Bennett, Russell Schmidt and Monte Shields.
Don Brown chaired the meeting in the absence of chairman Paul Stigall, who had informed the commission prior to the meeting that he would be unable to attend.
Petersen also presented the commission with a proposed ordinance regarding the establishment of a Rolla Historic Preservation Commission.
Discussion was brief and no action was taken. The ordinance will be further discussed and acted on at the June meeting.