©2013 Galesburg Broadcasting Co.
|Council Amends City Development Ordinance
|Locally grown produce may be easier to access with a decision by the Galesburg City Council, Monday night.
Aldermen approved an amendment to the development ordinance to allow for the construction of "High Tunnel Structures" on institutionally zoned land.
The High Tunnel Structures would be used by Knox College and Growing Together to farm local and organic produce.
Because the "HTS" is considered an accessory structure, code allows it to be built three feet from the side or rear property line.
Community Development Director Roy Parkin says that sometimes it's difficult to put an accessory requirement that meets the "twenty-ten-twenty rule" that primary structures are required to meet.
"In the past for garages, utility sheds, that type of thing, it's been allowed to go up to within three feet as long as it's at least 10 foot away [from a primary structure] and that separation is so that if there's a fire, it doesn't go from a garage to a house to a garage type thing," says Parkin.
Aldermen showed concerns about the placing of the structures suggested by the Planning and Zoning Commission with several Alderman suggesting an amendment to the proposal to require the structure be 20 feet from the side or rear property line.
Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin said he had a problem not only with the placement, but with the selling and distribution of food through the structures.
"It can be three feet right onto the backyard of someone, but on the other hand, it doesn't keep anyone from building a garage," says Karlin. "Heck, just last year we've allowed people to build mammoth garages without any type of interference from the City. I guess I'm ambivalent."
Karlin suggested tabling the measure to give the Council time to think about what it wanted to do, but later said his questions had been answered. The motion was withdrawn and was resubmitted by Third Ward Alderman Russell Fleming, but failed to gain approval.
Ruining certain residential views and disrupting neighborhoods were also brought up as concerns, but Knox College Sustainability Coordinator Shawn Tubb says putting high tunnels in neighborhoods would create vibrancy in the community.
"It won't create a strange relationship between this agricultural community and the neighborhood," says Tubb. "In cities that have these kind of high tunnels and urban gardens, that increases property values and creates jobs and gets more people to want to live in that neighborhood."
The original proposal was approved by a vote of 4-2. The City Council also decided to commit funds to a future Community Center, Monday night.
The current center is being sold to MAK Properties at above market value. The City will take the $115,000 sale price and use the proceeds to purchase and renovate a future Community Center.
The Community Center on East Simmons Street will eventually be turned into a brew-pub. Residents spoke out against the sale, saying back-up sites may not have wheelchair access or kitchens for residents to utilize.
Creating a separate fund for a future Community Center within the City's General Fund was approved 6-1.
Aldermen will also be meeting Tuesday morning to begin a budget planning process. In specific, the Council will focus on setting goals for the Galesburg Community over the course of two days before entering into budget negotiations. Negotiations will use a mediator at a cost of about $10,000 to assist the Council in reaching a consensus.
|07 15 13 by Newsroom
Click here for the WGIL News Archive
Click here for national news
All AP stories are Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
The following provision applies to all visitors (which shall include persons and representatives of legal entities, whether such representatives are persons or digital engines of a kind that crawls, indexes, scrapes, copies, stores or transmits digital content). By accessing this Web site or digital service, you specifically acknowledge and agree that: (i) Associated Press text, photo, graphic, audio and/or video material shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium; (ii) No Associated Press materials nor any portion thereof may be stored in a computer except for personal and non-commercial use; (iii) The Associated Press will not be held liable for any delays, inaccuracies, errors or omissions therefrom or in the transmission or delivery of all or any part thereof or for any damages arising from any of the foregoing; (iv) The Associated Press is an intended third party beneficiary of these terms and conditions and it may exercise all rights and remedies available to it; and (v) The Associated Press reserves the right to audit possible unauthorized commercial use of AP materials or any portion thereof at any time.