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City denies rezoning for half-way house for recovering addicts

PARK HILLS – The Park Hills City Council denied a zoning request involving a home for recovering drug addicts and let a request for a mobile home park die for lack of a motion during Tuesday night’s monthly meeting.

Councilmen also voted to match donations to a new fund in memory of librarian Leann Marler, who died earlier this month. The city will match donations up to $2,000 in order to buy a piece of furniture or other item that will honor Marler, who worked for the library 28 years. The council reserved the right to consider an additional donation if needed. The memorial fund was started at the request of Marler’s son.

The council held a public hearing on a request from Bill Revelle for Govero Land Services to rezone a section of land from general residential to mobile home park zoning. The land, located on the west side of Seventh and Scoggins streets would be used for a mobile home development of large mobile homes. The plans include concrete streets and concrete pads, mandated skirting and other restrictions. Homeowners would be responsible for maintaining their property. Developers believe the inexpensive homes would be occupied mainly by senior citizens. The planned homes would be higher quality than the old stereotype mobile homes, according to proposed plans.

The planning and zoning commission had recommended rejection of the rezoning request and did not opt to set a public hearing on the issue. That meant that Revelle had 10 days to request a public hearing by the city council. He did so, which led to Monday night’s hearing.

Resident Rosemary Crouch, whose property is adjacent to the land in question, submitted a letter early this month that stated her opposition to the rezoning request. During the meeting, another Parkside subdivision resident and a neighbor of Crouch, submitted a petition from residents objecting to the proposal and asking the council to deny the request.

“The homes in Parkside are about 1,500 to 1,600 square feet, have two-car garages and are a half-acre to an acre. Some have full basements,” John Graham told the council. “I purchased my home last August for $143,000. The replacement cost of the home is now $234,000. These mobile homes are probably around $30,000 new, and would decrease in value with age.

“Inexpensive homes would bring down the property value of existing homes.”

When Mayor David Easter read an ordinance to make the zoning change, none of the six councilmen present made a motion. Absent were Tracy McRaven and Linda Dickerson. The ordinance died for lack of a motion. That means the application will be deemed denied 35 days after the public hearing unless the council extends that time period.

The planning and zoning commission also recommended rejection of an application by Wendy Cannon to rezone property at 300 Bennett Street from single family residential to general residential. For more than seven years, Cannon has invited recovering drug addicts to stay with her while making a new start. In January, Cannon was cited by the city for allegedly running a boarding house.

Rezoning would allow Cannon to continue opening her home to others. Although no one spoke for or against the proposal at the meeting, the city earlier received letters opposing the change from residents Connie S. Clark, Joe and Rhonda Mash, Judy and David Wilfong, James and Cheryl Teasley. Community Development Director Matt Whitwell also received an e-mail of opposition from Richard J. Russell of the Missouri Department of Transportation in Fredericktown, who said he has rental property in the area and believes the change would cause problems “finding ideal renters.”

The council rejected Cannon’s request, 6-0.

Councilmen also heard a request for special use permit at 213 Lewis St. to be used as an automobile repair garage. The property is zoned for  single-family homes. Planning and zoning had recommended approval. The council set a public hearing for 7 p.m. July 10 in council chambers at city hall.

City Administrator John Kennedy noted that sales tax receipts from sales in May were “better than last year and better than the average for the past 10 years we’ve had. Figures also are six percent above last year’s on year to date basis, and last year was the best on record as Park Hills.”

Kennedy also said the city’s redesigned website should be online sometime Wednesday morning (today).

Ward 2 Councilman Sara Cruse complained that “profanity was rampant” at the city pool and suggested the city erect a sign so the city pool and Columbia Park could remain a wholesome place for families. Ward 3 Councilman asked that pool staff be reminded that they have the right to enforce pool rules, which would allow them to remove someone for inappropriate behavior.

In other business, the council:

* Agreed to change the name of Pine Street to Ralph Street in honor of developer Ralph Crocker because there were duplicate names of Pine Street

* Voted to change the planning and zoning commission meetings from the second Thursday of the month to the first Thursday of the month to provide a shorter time between commission and council meetings

* Approved the purchase of a $6,400 striping machine from Sherwin Williams for the street department

* Decided to renew two, $100,000 Trust and Agency certificates of deposit that expired June 5. The council agreed to renew them for 60 months with Bank Star of the Leadbelt at a 1.5 percent interest rate. Previously, the CDs, which fund city employees’ retirement, were with Belgrade State Bank.

Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at

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