MCEC to withdraw second rezoning request

Pictured in red is the most recent area of requested rezoning by the Monroe County Electric Cooperative. The area in blue is a section of the parcel originally requested for rezoning, with the request being withdrawn May 5.

A tie vote at Thursday’s meeting of the Monroe County Planning Commission prompted a planned withdrawal of a rezoning request by the owners of the property in question, Monroe County Electric Cooperative.

If the governing board of MCEC officially votes to withdraw the request, it will be the second such withdrawal in as many meetings of the planning commission.

At the May 5 planning commission meeting, MCEC was requesting recommendation of rezoning of just under 18 acres at the corner of Kaskaskia Road and Route 3 south of Waterloo.

This request was to rezone the section of the parcel from A-1 agricultural use to B-2 highway business zoning “with the intent to sell as a commercial lot.” After hearing public input, MCEC President/CEO Alan Wattles informed the board he would withdraw the request and bring a new plan to the June 2 meeting that would be better received by nearby residents.

The request for rezoning during Thursday’s meeting was to rezone a different 33-acre section of the parcel resting just north of Route 3 and west of Old Route 3 from A-1 to B-2 “with the intent to develop or sell.”

During public comment, nearby residents expressed concerns regarding both the uncertainty of what business would eventually be located on the property and its impact on traffic in what was described by residents as an already problematic area.

Planning commission member Dan Davis pointed out that changes on Route 3 – including any additional traffic control signals – are at the discretion of the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Before making a motion to recommend approval of the change to the Monroe County Zoning Board of Appeals, Davis added the county’s comprehensive plan is designed for creation of commercial development along the Route 3 corridor.

During discussion, commission member Dave Glosecki said, “I’m not knocking the concept, I just wish I knew what was going in (the lot). Without a definitive answer on what we’re leading to here … to rezone it and put in on the market … I’m picturing another Stumpy’s (Distillery and Spirits) adventure,” referring to a controversial zoning change request in September for a parcel along Route 3 near Hanover Road to be rezoned to a B-2 business district. That request was granted in October.

“I’m all for doing something, we just need to know what,” Glosecki concluded.

After the planning commission split its vote 3-3, Wattles told the board he would withdraw the request and sell the parcel “as-is,” with A-1 zoning.

Since the board had voted, the commission said there would need to be a formal request to withdraw or the matter would still be considered by the Monroe County Zoning Board of Appeals at its July 6 meeting.

Wattles later told the Republic-Times the MCEC board would hold a special meeting within two weeks to consider withdrawing the zoning change request.

“I want to make sure the board is on the same page,” Wattles said, adding he will recommend a formal withdrawal when the board meets later this month.

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