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Paynesville Press - October 30, 2002

City considers rezoning several lots
from commercial to residential

By Michael Jacobson

The Paynesville Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on Monday, Nov. 4, to consider the rezoning of nearly 20 residences - more than 50 actual lots - from commercial to residential.

All the lots in question are located east of downtown Paynesville, in an area north of Highway 23, east of Lake Avenue, and south of Railroad Street. All but two of the lots are west of Garfield Avenue.

For reasons unknown, all these lots were zoned commercial at one time, but have since been developed as residential, said city administrator Steve Helget. This initiative to rezone them is really an attempt to zone them to their current use, he added.

The problem was discovered, said Helget, when a homeowner came to city hall to get a building permit. A residential home in a commercial zone is really a nonconforming structure, so any permit would require a public hearing. Rather than go through that process, which would need to be repeated for any future permits as well, the logical course was to rezone the properties as residential, said Helget.

The rezoning will be the subject of a public hearing in front of the planning commission on Monday at 7:15 p.m. at city hall. It will eventually need city council approval as well to become official.

Apparently, this area just east of downtown was once considered for commercial expansion, but has become mainly a residential area, said Helget. "It's not just one or two properties," he said. "It's the whole neighborhood."

Lots with actual businesses are not part of the rezoning and will stay commercial.

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