ALMA- At the Alma City Commissioners meeting tonight, there was deliberation and a vote on the planning commission for rezoning of Warwick living center. Which passed committee on a 4/2 vote.
Commissioner Roger Allman made an initial motion to approve. He feels this ordinance that has caused division within the community, and the recommendation to them was flawed by planning commission. Allman stated “in all the rhetoric of those opposed, he doesn’t remember hearing one fact.” He mentioned the commission met with Bethany Christian Services and felt that the men they are helping are kind and friendly. And that businesses need a diverse labor force.
Commissioner Piccolo seconded it.
Commissioner Michelle Pitts stated our task is to consider the recommendation from the planning commission. If they don’t have confidence in the planning commission, they should throw out the zoning commission’s recommendations. Which hasn’t been done historically in 40 years.
Vice Mayor Roxann Harrington demanded the people give commissioners respect in their speaking, as there was a disruption during Allman’s testimony. She mentioned in her testimony of “going with the information shes been given. We need to bring businesses into our city.”
Commissioner Audra Stahl agrees that homework had to be done, and if Commissioner Pitts researched to see if the masonic temple could have simply sold off the property. Stahl mentioned this is the worst decision she’s ever been involved in. In listening to comments and reading letters, shes been approached at every event she’s been at this summer regarding this. But made no mention of the petition that the citizens submitted to the city against the rezone.
Nick Piccolo stated zoning is predominantly a local decision. He stated that testimony was driven by fear of the worst possible outcome. That ordinances provide latitude for the city. He spoke with Bethany Christian Services and their vetting process. Saying safety issues are most likely “very, very, low.” And for those reasons he supports the Warwick living center.
Piccolo suggested an oversight of Bethany Christian Services as they move people into the Warwick Living Center. However, the city attorney stated that if a condition is going to be added, that this would have to go back to the planning commission for another vote. In which Piccolo retracted his suggestion.
The motion passed 4/2 was to approve rezoning on the Warwick Living Center.