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|Questions Persist Over City-Wide Re-Zoning
|An effort to re-zone essentially the entire City of Galesburg is closer to reality, more than 10 years after work to that end started, but it apparently still isn't perfect.
The Galesburg Plan Commission hosted a public hearing on the re-zoning Tuesday night. It's part of an effort to finalize a new Unified Development Ordinance that essentially combines all the city's planning and development-related ordinances into one document, including a new zoning system.
One area of concern is the creation of a new "Institutional" zoning that things like churches, schools, city buildings, and hospitals among others would fall under.
John Robertson is attorney for the Galesburg Clinic, which is about to be acquired by OSF Healthcare Group. Robertson says the Institutional zoning might not fare well for Saint Mary Medical Center.
"The problem is that the ordinance as written would greatly restrict the use of the property in the future," Robertson told the Plan Commission. "I'm sure you're all aware that there are constant changes in human health care services that go on almost on a daily basis if you go near any hospital or medical institution. Offices crop up, services crop up, things crop up."
City Community Development Director Roy Parkin says he'll work with attorneys for OSF to make changes on that.
Associate Planner Steve Gugliotta says Knox College noticed a discrepancy with the Institutional zoning, too.
"They noticed, when they were reviewing the information that I sent them, that there were some properties that were not included," Gugliotta said. "So they sent me the information. There are about 24 parcels that they wanted added. They had no problem...changing to an Institutional zone, which is what the colleges and educational facilities are changing to."
There were a number of other amendments the Plan Commission made to the city-wide re-zoning, but some other issues will eventually be resolved.
Gugliotta says the public has had some misconceptions about the re-zoning.
"The most frequently asked question was, 'Is this going to raise my taxes?'" Gugliotta said. "We did check with the Assessor's office, and zoning classification alone does not affect property values. The second most-asked question was, 'Can I still use my property the same way I'm currently using it?' We have tried to make an effort to make sure that we're not going to affect people in a negative way on a lot of these properties."
Gugliotta says he talked to upwards of 50 people that responded to a barrage of Radio and newspaper ads ahead of Tuesday's public hearing, and says nearly all of them seemed to respond favorably when their questions were answered.
The Plan Commission has approved the re-zoning and it now goes to the Galesburg City Council.
|05 27 10 by Newsroom
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