City Council compromises on re-zoning Bed & Breakfast property

By Gary Scott on June 27, 2017 at 7:59am

Jacksonville aldermen came to a compromise last night regarding a zoning issue that was at the forefront of the council’s previous meeting.

Multiple parties attended this month’s earlier meeting to share their views on a rezoning request for property located at 876 West State Street. The discussion centered around the notion of changing that property from R-1 to R-5 in order for it to be used as a Bed & Breakfast at the wishes of the home’s new owner, Scott DeWolf.

Concerns were raised about the property potentially becoming an apartment-type of complex in the future. While DeWolf himself has made it clear that he does not intend for the property to become anything more than a Bed & Breakfast, rezoning said property from R-1 to R-5 would have opened the door for that possibility.

Therefore, city council members, along with City Attorney Dan Beard, came up with a compromise to the rezoning issue. Beard breaks down the city’s proposal.

“What the inspections department came up with was to amend our zoning ordinance to allow a Bed & Breakfast as a special use R-3 district rather than an R-5 district. That will keep this property single-family as far as zoning, but would allow a use that’s proposed for the Bed & Breakfast. We’ll make that text amendment at the next meeting of the city council, and if it goes ahead with their approval, then we can go ahead with the re-zoning to R-3 with a special use,” Beard explains.

Beard explains how the compromise addresses the concerns brought up during the previous meeting.

“By keeping it R-3, which is a single-family district, it will prevent any possible future use for apartments. Certainly the owner has no plans to do that, but in the future there would be no possibility either,” says Beard.

Another subject of discussion last night’s workshop was MacMurray College’s request that the city issue Illinois Economic Development Bonds to help with several campus projects.

Beard provides clarification as to what the college is asking for, and how it would involve the city.

“MacMurray College has requested that the city assist them with some major renovation projects on the campus. The city would issue tax-exempt economic development bonds on behalf of MacMurray College, the Bank of Springfield is going to be the purchaser of those bonds. There’s no liability that falls back on the city in any sense of the word, it is strictly a pass-through, with the city being able to issue those bonds tax-exempt, which allows MacMurray, hopefully, to get a lower interest rate on those bonds,” Beard explains.

Other items from last night saw the city accept a proposal from Municode to re-codify Jacksonville’s Code of Ordinances, as well as a resolution to extend their Curbside Recycling Services Agreement with Area Disposal Service, Inc.