The Effingham City Council voted against the Plan Commission’s decision regarding a property at 1000 S. 4th Street Tuesday night. With the City Council’s vote, the property will be rezoned to a multifamily dwelling from a single-family dwelling. The property owner petitioned to rezone the residence after it had reverted back to single-family after a year of being unoccupied. While the area around the property is zoned for single-family dwellings, it was previously granted a special non-conforming use.
There was opposition to the rezoning from residents in the neighborhood. They suggested that the property had been left in various states of disrepair for too long. Property owner, Brad O’Dell, contended that confusion with the city prevented rennovations from proceeding. The Plan Commission voted 4-2 against rezoning the property in January.
The city council voted 4-1 in favor of rezoning on Tuesday. Mayor Bloemker, who voted yes for the rezoning, said that he did so because of the nature of the proposed use. “Probably one of the driving factors here though, is that we just have such an acute need for rental properties in Effingham and we’re doing everything we can to encourage residential development,” Mayor Bloemker said.
While he didn’t like the idea of voting against the Plan Commission’s decision, Bloemker said that he felt confident that the owner would follow through and develop the property.
Commissioner Merv Gillenwater voted no on the rezoning based on the Plan Commission’s vote. “I always consider what the Plan Commission has done,” Gillenwater said. “I thought that on a legal basis that it should not be approved.” However, Gillenwater said that he respected the effort put forth on the property.