The Chadron City Planning Commission has rejected a zoning change needed for a $10-million dollar, 4-story, 78-unit apartment building south of 10th Street across from Wilson Park.
Only 2 of the planners voted for the change from R-2 to R-3 multi-family. The question now goes to the city council on October 4th, but it would take a super-majority of the 5 members to override the planning commission.
About a half-dozen residents of the area near the proposed project spoke out against it, most saying their property values would drop and that they would not have built their homes had the apartment building already been there.
All acknowledged the need for more housing, including rental housing, in Chadron but felt the proposal by REV Development was too big for the location.
They also questioned the impact of that many more vehicles when traffic at 10th and Main already backs up a block or more at the start and end of the school day, and expressed concerns about parking
REV owner Mike Works said parking isn’t an issue because the project includes 129 parking spaces, well over the minimum required for that many housing units.
Another major concern of the opponents was the possibility of subsidence, given the presence of Briggs Pond to the south, and they wanted to see engineering studies to prove the project was safe.
Both Works and City Building and Zoning Officer Janet Johnson said plans are already being made for a detailed study, but as part of seeking the actual building permit for the project – not at this time.
Works said the project would not go forward if it doesn’t receive Tax Incremental Financing – TIF – from the city for infrastructure work. Under TIF, bonds are issued and repaid with what would be the property tax increase from the completed project.
The site, part of the proposed Chartran Estates over a decade ago, has water and sewer, but Works said those lines would need to be moved or adjusted. That led several neighbors to say he should be responsible for those costs, not taxpayers.