PLATTSMOUTH – If Plattsmouth City Council approves a zoning change on Eighth Avenue, the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah Witnesses may soon house funeral services instead.
Ronald Grothe, acting on behalf of JW Congregation Support Inc., is requesting a zoning change from Urban Residential Large Lot (R1) to Urban Corridor (UC) for the property at 1408 Eighth Ave.
JW Congregation Support assists congregations of Jehovah’s Witnesses to acquire, construct and remodel places of worship; provides humanitarian assistance to individuals suffering from natural and man-made disasters; and supports the building, construction, and maintenance of other religious buildings, according to the organization’s website.
A public hearing is scheduled during Monday’s city council meeting to hear arguments for and against the zoning change.
At Plattsmouth Planning Commission’s Oct. 18 meeting, members unanimously voted to recommend the zoning change to city council.
Grothe: “The subject property is currently zoned residential and has been used as a church since its construction in 2005. Currently, the properties along Eighth Avenue are all commercial properties,” he stated in a change of zoning application given to the commission.
The change would make the property zoning similar to surrounding entities. To the east of the former church sits Super Wash car wash and to the west Dollar General. Both businesses are zoned Urban Corridor. The property also overlooks Casey’s Convenience gas station, zoned General Commercial, across Eighth Avenue to the south. Behind the church is a single-family home, zoned Urban Residential Low Density (Residential R1), that faces Chicago Avenue.
Grothe: “The current proposed purchaser is a funeral home with its low-volume of traffic. Therefore, we feel this request for the change to commercial zoning would be justified and consistent with the other uses and zoning along Eighth Avenue. In this commercial area. It would also benefit the city in returning this property to paying real estate taxes.”
The vote to approve the change to city council followed Planning Commission Chairman Jeff Kindig asking if there would be any changes to the building on the property if the zoning change was approved.
Brian Harvey, owner of Harvey Funeral Home in Plattsmouth, said a new garage would be added.
Based on the city of Plattsmouth Comprehensive Plan, “the Future Land Use Concept map shows this property as New Commercial, which is typically zoned General Commercial.”
According to the city of Plattsmouth Land Development Ordinance Article 4-21, a UC District “recognizes the mixed-use character of major urban corridors, including traditional arterials such as Chicago Avenue and emerging mixed-use corridors. These corridors sometimes accommodate a combination of residential, commercial and office uses.”
Design standards are important on these urban streets. “Some uses in the UC district will require development above normal standards in order to assure compatibility with surrounding uses,” the ordinance states.
The property and building on it conform to the city’s Civic Corridor Design standards.