QUINCY -- The Quincy Plan Commission on Tuesday endorsed a proposal to consolidate several residential lots in the 1300 block of South 12th Street and rezone them so a Dollar General store can be built.
The issue now goes to the Quincy City Council for consideration next week.
The Plan Commission acted despite the objections of 6th Ward Alderman Katie Awerkamp, who serves on the commission.
"It doesn't make sense to me," Awerkamp said.
She questioned the idea of "putting up a store right there in a residential neighborhood" and said she'd like to see the proposal "re-looked at, if possible." The request to consolidate and rezone the lots at 1337, 1339 and 1341 S. 12th came from Glenwood Equities of Chesterfield, Mo., a developer for Dollar General stores.
The proposal calls for re-subdividing the three lots -- along with the northwest corner of the Vance Chiropractic property, at 1420 S. 14th -- into a new 1.52-acre lot. The Dollar General store would be situated in the northeast quadrant of the lot.
The petitioner also wants to rezone this new lot, and the property immediately to the south, as C1B -- limited local commercial. This zoning classification would then be continuous with the C1B zoning of the Dairy Queen and laundromat properties further to the south along 12th and Harrison.
The city's Planning and Development Department staff, who recommended that the subdivision and rezoning requests be approved, said Glenwood Equities is taking steps to acquire the properties in question and would buy and tear down the existing houses if it gets clearance to proceed.
Daniel Elkin, representing Glenwood Equities, told commissioners that the three homes in that block are all "falling down," and a commercial development would be an improvement.
"It seems to be a very natural extension of your commercial corridor," he said. "It seems to be a cohesive item that will benefit the community in that area as an amenity."
Plan Commission member Rick Smith raised some concerns about drainage issues that could develop if a Dollar General store is built at that location.
Smith said he recalls a controversy that erupted after a Dollar General store was built on the north side of Quincy off 12th Street some years ago.
"When that went in, I know people who live out there had substantial drainage issues as a result of that," Smith said. "The water leaving the lot went the wrong direction and ended up in people's basements."
Smith said "there's never a guarantee" that drainage can be controlled, "but do we really want to invite a problem?"
Jeffrey Conte, Quincy's director of utilities and engineering, noted that the area being proposed for the Dollar General store is "a natural drainage way" for that neighborhood. He said any proposal to develop the property would have to go through the city's site review process, which would take into account any potential discharges from the site.
Plan Commission Chairman Julie Brink recalled that the commission several years ago rejected a proposal to allow a Dollar General store at the corner of 14th and Harrison. She wanted to know why that one was rejected while the city's staff is supporting this new proposal.
Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development, noted that the big issue at 14th and Harrison was a requirement that the developer would have to make some costly improvements to 14th Street as part of the project. "The developer was not real supportive of rebuilding the street," he said.
Bevelheimer said the 12th Street site wouldn't require any such rebuilding, and he believes "it makes sense to extend the C1B zoning north through those three properties."
In other action, the commission:
º Endorsed a request from Adam Booth to rezone property at 2330 Spring from single-family residential to commercial so off-street parking can be developed to serve a laundromat at 2338 Spring.
º Endorsed a request by Anna Lee Waterkotte for a one-lot subdivision of property at 6708 Hickory Grove North.
º Endorsed a request by the city to amend subdivision rules to permit city garbage and recycling trucks to provide services on private streets if an "indemnification agreement" is executed with a subdivision's leadership.