On a 3-1 vote the Hannibal Planning & Zoning Commission on Thursday gave approval to a rezoning request for a tract of land located between St. Mary’s Avenue and U.S. 61. But the decision, which will next go before the City Council in April, was anything but routine.
Deborah Ketterer is seeking to have the property, which is bordered on the north by Pleasant Street, rezoned from One and Two Family to D-Highway Business. A portion of the Ketterer property is already zoned to accommodate highway businesses.
Jeremy Ketterer, Deborah Ketterer’s son, told Commission members that there has been quite a bit of interest in the land recently.
“We receive multiple calls a month,” he said.
Jason Janes of Janes Surveying added that the family’s ability to sell the property to a developer is contingent on all of it being zoned suitable for commercial businesses.
Jeremy Ketterer said the sale and development of the land would provide additional jobs and tax revenue for the city, while helping clean up the area.
The fact that neither Jeremy Ketterer or his sister, Nikki Maccotta, could say what sort of business(es) might be built if the property is rezoned was a cause of concern for those opposing the zoning change.
“Leaving it wide open (to unknown development) at our expense is not acceptable,” said Wesley Knapp, who lives at 3520 St. Mary’s. “A hotel could go in or a convenience store; we have no idea what might go in.”
Terry Hull, 3430 St. Mary’s, estimated this was the third time a proposal to rezone the property has been made.
“If you rezone it from residential it will have a negative impact on property values,” he said. “We may want to market our homes some day.”
The thought of vehicles coming to and from the development is another point of angst for local homeowners.
“Traffic would be horrible,” said Arlan Metzger, 3417 St. Mary’s.
“St. Mary’s would never handle it,” said Hull.
“There’s too much traffic now,” said Tamara Mueller, 3434 St. Mary’s.
Mueller also expressed concern over the amount of ambient light an additional business would add.
“A business would be very, very close to my home,” she said.
Residents encouraged the commissioners to maintain the status quo.
“They could sell it the way it is (zoned),” said Hull. “Why change it at our expense?”
“This is not a good thing,” said Metzger. “I’d rather see new houses (built) than a commercial business.”
Page 2 of 2 - “This will be an unimaginable encroachment on our neighborhood’s serenity,” said Knapp.
Before recommending approval of the rezoning request, Commission member Terry Sampson said he was sympathetic to both sides.
“This is something the Council should decide,” added Councilman Mike Dobson, who represents the Council on the Commission.
The City Council will have its chance to take up the rezoning request during a public hearing scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, in council chambers at city hall.
“Now we’ll wait to see what happens on the 16th,” said Jeremy Ketterer.