Central Business District considered in Cherokee

Tuesday, December 2, 2003

The Cherokee City Council will seek input from the Cherokee Planning and Zoning Commission before acting on a proposed Central Business District in Cherokee.

Several business people had questions about the proposed new zoning category at the Tuesday meeting of the council. Council members also would like clarification on the effect of the new ordinance before taking action on the matter.

"I know we've listened to an explanation of this from the planning and zoning commission, but it has been about a year," Mayor Dennis Henrich said.

The CBD zoning designation would be more restrictive than the current commercial designation which applies to the area under consideration. General storage (warehousing) was specifically mentioned as a commercial zone use that would not be allowed under the CBD designation.

Gary Bowers, a real estate agent, noted that there were several buildings currently used for storage in the proposed zone. He asked whether owners of such properties would be allowed to continue with this usage if the new zone was created. Wally Miller, Jr., city attorney, said he believed they would be "grandfathered in" for such use but the property could no longer be used for that purpose in the event the property ownership was changed.

The ordinance that was before the city council on Tuesday listed 43 specific types of retail business and public services that would be allowed in the CBD. Also allowed would be multiple dwelling units and essential services. Certain categories of businesses would be allowed as conditional uses with council approval.

The kind of uses currently allowed in commercially zoned properties that would not be allowed in a CBD could best be understand by looking at the proposed new ordinance for regularly commercially zoned property. A new ordinance for regular commercial zone accompanied the ordinance for a CBD zone.

The proposed new ordinance for a regular commercial zone allows everything that would be allowed in a CBD plus the following listed items (presumably not allowed in a CBD):

1. Auction rooms

2. Auto sales

3. Body shop

4. Bowling alley

5. Dairy product storage

6. Frozen food lockers

7. General storage and warehouse, pertinent to the principle use of the primary business (it shall not be a separate business). All other types of general storage warehouse require a special permit.

8. Hotels and motels, including swimming pools

9. Motor bike shop

10. Skating rink

11. Telephone exchange

12. Utility offices, service building and storage area

13. Veterinary office and animal hospital

14. Welding and repair shops

Gary Bowers questioned why the city would want to restrict warehousing for a large building where a business moves out, for example if Drug Town moved to a new location (hypothetical, no such move is anticipated.)

Doug Woods, council member, indicated that a retail business would be a better use for such a building.

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