Public hearings were held by the Rolla City Council Monday night on two rezoning requests that were recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission last week.

Public hearings were held by the Rolla City Council Monday night on two rezoning requests that were recommended by the Planning and Zoning Commission last week.
On neither request did the council hear any neighbors speak for the zoning or against the rezoning. After the silence from the public, the council heard the first readings and moved on to other business. Both rezoning requests will be picked up in two weeks for the final readings and likely passage.
The rezoning of 2100 Vichy Road from R-1 (single family district) zoning to C-0 (office district) zoning was the first request taken up for a hearing, and Community Development Director John Petersen immediately worked to assuage any council concerns about commercial zoning in the midst of a residential area.
“This zoning allows an office environment only,” he said. The C-0 zoning allows no selling or rental of goods. He said it is a zoning that allows an office for an accountant, for instance.
In this case, the property owners want to sell the house for use by an engineering company.
Joe Heberlie, of Missouri Engineering, spoke to the council prior to the public hearing, noting that his mother-in-law, Carol Ann Parks owns the house and desires to sell it. Heberlie said Missouri Engineering’s lease at its current location is ending and the company wants to move to a permanent location. This place fits the bill.
Council questions were about the parking availability and the mixed vote by the planning commission.
Regarding the parking, Councilman Walter Bowe, 6th Ward, reminded Petersen, “There is no parking on Vichy Road, either side,” and he questioned what arrangements are being made. Petersen reiterated what he told the planning commission, that six to seven parking spaces would be required, but there is room on the property to accommodate that number of spaces in a small parking lot.
Councilman Matthew Crowell, 2nd Ward, asked about the 5-1 vote, with another commissioner abstaining. He quizzed Petersen about the reason for the negative vote; Petersen replied that the commissioner gave no reason for casting the vote against the rezoning recommendation.
In his agenda commentary to the council, Petersen repeated the information that he had given the planning commission about the property and its neighbors. For instance, he wrote, "The development pattern in the entire area is primarily residential and mostly older single-family dwellings that have been converted to multi-family use to serve the housing needs of students attending Missouri S&T."
There is R-1 zoning on all sides, with R-2 to the south and R-3 to the east.
That mix of residential zones indicates this is a “neighborhood in transition,” Petersen said, and that makes the commercial zoning, most restrictive of all the commercial districts, “less of a concern from my perspective.” The C-0 will create less traffic or population density than a multi-family housing complex allowable in an R-3 zone, he noted.
The lot at 2106 Vichy Road is 11,669 square feet, about .30 acre. The site can meet all requirements for setbacks, building height and lot coverage, he said.
Councilman Crowell also asked Petersen if he had received any negative comments from neighbors. Petersen said the only communication he had received was from a man who asked questions about the rezoning to gain information but did not speak against it.
The other rezoning request was for one lot in a gated community at the intersection of White Columns Drive and Crinoidal Court.
That rezoning request, if approved, will bring Lot 9 of the Kayser North Hills Resubdivision No. 2 into compliance with Lots 1-8 and 10, which were rezoned from R-1 to R-3 last year to allow for the construction of the gated community that is being called The Lodges of Rolla.
Developers Rick Morris and Steve Ehrhardt last year had bought the lots except for Lot 9. That owner from St. Louis, who bought the property for use by his son, a Missouri University of Science and Technology student, wanted more money than the developers were willing to give, at least a year ago. The St. Louis owner spoke against the rezoning at the planning commission, but it was recommended anyway, and the rezoning for Lots 1-8 and 10 was approved.
Apparently there was an agreement reached between the developers and the hold-out property owner since last year, and the developers came back this month with a request to change the zoning to R-3 for Lot 9, which is what all the surrounding property, most of it vacant, is zoned.
The planning commission recommended the council approve the rezoning ordinance; there was no opposing vote or abstention in this case.
Petersen said the project will cover 13.74 acres. Developer Morris said 180 dwelling units.
For the council, Petersen repeated some information that he presented to the planning commission in the written agenda commentary. "Traffic flow will increase," Petersen acknowledged, and the developers should consider signage to help motorists using White Columns Drive.
Direct access to The Lodges of Rolla will be provided by a private drive, according to the information given to the commission.
Later on the Monday night agenda, the council heard first reading of another ordinance on the Kayser North Hills Resubdivision. No public hearing was required on this ordinance.
The owners, Rolla Investors LLC, want to make the 10 lots into one lot, so they have submitted a new plat for a subdivision to be called Rolla Investors No. 1. This move will include the vacating of adjacent Crinoidal Court right-of-way and the utility easements for the 10 lots.
That ordinance was recommended unanimously by the planning commission, and there was little discussion on it before the first reading was heard Monday night.