Developer's Rezone Request Hits Snag

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Worries over parking and the potential for misuse hampered the efforts of a Pine-Strawberry businessman's request to rezone his property.

Businessman Barry Hoff wants to rezone 120 feet of highway frontage from TR (Transitional Residential) to C-2 (Commercial.) The matter came before the Gila County Board of Supervisors Tuesday during its regular session in Globe.

Hoff's neighbors raised objections, fearing that the project will drop a bar into the largely residential area.

The property's current classification would permit for some business, including food distribution, but according to Terry Smith of Gila County's Planning and Zoning Department, the TR designation would not allow a true restaurant to operate at that location. TR rules would also require that any business close no later than 11 p.m..

There's already a small diner situated across the street from Hoff's property, and Hoff says his only plans are to move the diner onto his property. He said it would provide advantages to the small business and wouldn't create any real changes to the community. He's already constructing cabins on adjacent land.

Zoning officials recommended approval of the application, but District One Supervisor Tommie Martin proposed a compromise.

Martin pointed out that while Hoff himself might not install something objectionable, if he sold the property and it was rezoned, there wouldn't be any restrictions on a future owner putting in a bar or other objectionable business. She suggested rather than rezoning to C-2, Hoff obtain a Conditional Use Permit.

Conditional Use Permits can be issued on either a limited or permanent basis, and would spell out restrictions that can't be imposed under the C-2 designation.

The developer said he would have preferred to get the C-2 approval, but would "live with" the alternative.

Meanwhile District 3 Supervisor Shirley Dawson interjected concerns over parking and additional development on the highway in Pine-Strawberry.

Zoning officials said that Hoff can use a portion of the adjacent acreage for parking. Dawson nonetheless expounded that Pine should look at ways to establish businesses off of its main drag.

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