Meeting: Jasper Plan Commission

The Jasper Plan Commission met Wednesday and:

• Heard that a petition for rezoning properties owned by Mehringer LLC and Harold D. Murray was formally withdrawn. Those properties are located on plots of land on East fifth Street. In March, Dennis “Bucket” Mehringer approached the commission with a request to rezone the lots — near Mehringer Plumbing — from residential to heavy industrial, but the vote was tabled so Mehringer and concerned members of an adjacent neighborhood could discuss property screening options. Those residents previously expressed concerns regarding the rezoning and how it could impact their neighborhood.

• Mark Marshall, who lives across the street from one of those lots, expressed concerns with the current state and use of the lot across from his home. He voiced issue with the appearance and use of the rock lot, which Marshall said is being used for the parking of vehicles and storing of work equipment. Going forward, the city will enforce the use of that lot according to residential code, but will not make Mehringer remove the rock because using the material is not a violation of the unified development ordinance.

• Heard from Pat Pace that Jasper is facing a shortage of affordable housing. She told members that she hopes the century-old brick house at 417 E. Fifth St. — which was originally up for rezoning consideration — is not torn down in the future.

• Favorably recommended a new comprehensive plan document to the Jasper Common Council. That document will be used by city officials to guide the city’s decision-making moving forward, if approved by the council. The plan will come before the council at its next meeting at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 21. The plan was formulated by Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group during a more than yearlong process.

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