Despite previous protests from neighboring property owners and renters, the lot at 115 East Union Street will now be listed as an R4 (Multi Family Residential Medium Density) zone, in order to accommodate a three-plex property.

While neighbors were initially concerned about a number of issues including parking space, historic value and future expansions, Mayor Milt Kramer noted that very few of the neighbors voiced this concern for the council. After a letter was sent to the 30 addresses within the required 220 feet of the property, only 10 people from six addresses signed a rezone petition.

“It could have very easily had 50, 60 signatures if there was that much opposition there,” said Kramer. He also noted that those who live in the historical houses in the area did not object to the project.

City Manager Tim Vick noted that, while the land being rezoned as an R4 zone could hold more units, the process would be difficult and time consuming. In an R4 zone, it is required to have at least 2,000 square feet per dwelling unit, constraining the possible number of dwelling units. Though the property consists of 15,000 square feet and could theoretically hold up to six dwellings, Vick pointed out there also has to be space for off street parking.

“I’m just trained to suffice the need for housing in town,” said Frank Sailer, the project developer. “I have some property there I’d like to add on to. I’ve had a lot of calls for people wanting something like that.”

In other news, the council:

• Approved an increase to the Compost Area Maintenance Fees, from $2/month to $3/month. The last time the fee was increased was in July 2007.

• Approved a loan agreement for a $120,000 General Obligation Vehicle Acquisition Bond with F&M Bank, for several city vehicles.

• Approved a contract for a slurry seal, joint and crack seal project at the airport with Kirkham Michael.