FRUITLAND — Fruitland City Council opened a public hearing at its Dec. 14 meeting for the purpose of hearing from the public regarding a rezoning request by JRK Company LLC. The request included a “comprehensive plan amendment and rezone from single family residential to multi-family residential” for two properties, one located at 111 N. Pennsylvania Ave. and one at 215 Johnson Road.
The hearing, which opened at 7:04 p.m. and stayed open until 7:24, and gathered testimony from the community regarding the proposed project.
Josh and Rebecca Knott, representing JRK Company, stated that they are requesting to rezone the Pennsylvania Ave. and Johnson Road properties from “single family residential” to “multi-family residential” to accommodate three duplex housing units per each half acre of property. The proposal would include a total of six duplexes, each unit comprising 1200 sq. ft.
Testimony was given by residents regarding the proposal. Feedback that was submitted by residents reflected an overall opposition to the project with many of the opponents of the development citing that Johnson Road is “too narrow” others saying they did not wish to have a multi-family dwelling so close to their residence.
After hearing the feedback from the public, Councilor Ed Pierson moved to deny the request for rezoning from JRK Company, this motion was seconded by Councilor Kari Peterson and the motion carried.
The Monday night meeting of the Fruitland City Council saw the topic of rezoning these properties return to the agenda for a second discussion as representatives from JRK made a request for reconsideration hearing.
Rebecca Knott provided aerial photographs of the properties in question as well as discussed how there are already multi-family dwellings in that area of the city. Josh Knott joined her at the podium and said that they would like to “utilize the ground” for both of those properties.
Rick Watkins, Fruitland City Administrator, said that there are “different avenues” that can be taken. He said that council and staff have already heard from the public and their testimony was taken regarding the matter, so he suggested that JRK formulate a “development agreement” in which the concerns of the public can be addressed with a plan that “gets more specific with development.”
Watkins said that JRK would have to put in a new request and notify neighbors once again. Pierson moved to waive any filing fees for JRK should they decide to submit a development plan.
Pierson moved to approve JRK’s proposal for rezoning contingent upon submission of a successful development plan that satisfies area residents. Peterson seconded the motion. Councilors Stuart Grimes and Jeff Carpenter both dissented on the motion causing Mayor Brian Howell to be the tie-breaking vote saying that he would support the efforts by JRK Company to formulate a development plan ultimately approving the measure with that specific contingency.