A rezoning application to allow an existing storefront building in Talmo’s historic downtown district to be used as a general store received the Jefferson-Talmo Planning and Zoning Commission’s unanimous recommendation of approval during its Oct. 4 meeting.
The 0.25 acre tract is currently zoned rural residential (RR3) and houses the vacant storefront building at the corner of Main Street and Kinney Avenue, abutting the existing town center in downtown Talmo.
The site is part of a larger 37 acre property where existing rural residential (RR3) zoning doesn’t allow for the commerical use of an already developed storefront building.
To properly utilize the vacant building on their property, property owners Wayne and Jill Miller are seeking to rezone a one-quarter-acre parcel from RR3 to town center mixed-use (TC), a district specifically intended for Talmo’s town center area. The remainder of the surrounding property owned by the Millers would remain unchanged as a medium-density residential (R2) district.
According to planning staff’s report, the proposal is in compliance with the city’s land use management code in keeping with community objectives for design and landscaping. The existing storefront building, or “Talmo General Store” as it’s called in Talmo’s comprehensive plan, is featured as an example of the type of development desired in the downtown district.
Also during its Oct. 4 meeting, the JTPC voted in favor of a variance request to allow for an expansion project at Bright Beginnings of Jefferson to accommodate rising enrollment numbers in its after-school program.
According to applicant and co-owner Bobby Healy, “for after-school use, we could handle upwards of an additional 75 children.”
"If all goes well we will be adding 3,000 square feet, two classrooms and a multi-function indoor playroom,” Healy wrote in his letter of intent to the planning board. “Our hope is, to obviously fill this up for daytime school use, but also help alleviate the after school child care issues parents of Jefferson face.”
In his letter, Healy requested the current natural buffer requirement be reduced from 30 feet to 10 feet and the current setback be cut in half to 20 feet, “which is where my current building’s parkling lot is already at,” he said.
According to planning staff’s description, Healy’s property, located at 188 Washington Street, is“irregularly shaped” and part of it is “exceptionally narrow”, which makes it difficult to observe the required setback and bufffer width.
“The applicant was not responsible for how the property acquired was subdivided or the requirement to have a buffer and setback adjacent to residential,” said the report.