Oneonta declines request to rezone for business

Acceding to its planning commission’s 5-1-vote recommendation, the Oneonta City Council unanimously denied Jerry and Linda Nelson’s request to rezone a .57-acre parcel from residential to light business. The Nelsons, whose property lies at the city’s limit on U.S. 231 north, had reportedly sought the change to operate a grocery produce stand.

No one commented on the request at the 5:15 p.m. pre-council public hearing. In the council meeting, Mayor Darryl Ray read from a letter the commission’s concern that the action would amount to spot zoning. The Nelsons had already moved in a small structure and begun considerable site preparation for the business.

Based on 2010 population figures and the state code, the city’s police jurisdiction has been extended from 1.5 miles to 3 miles. Because of that change, the council agreed to alter section 16-3 of its firearm-discharge ordinance, deleting (excluding) the jursidiction from that ordinance. Personnel

The council endorsed police chief James Chapman’s recommendation to promote police sergeant Steve Gunn to lieutenant. Chapman’s recommendation followed interviews of three applicants by a promotion committee, which included councilmen Tim McNair and Hal Buckelew.

In other personnel matters, the council hired college students Emily Bender and Michael Barnett as part-time summer library workers. Barnett returns for a third year in that position.

Ray presented four 25-year servicerecognition awards. Judy Underwood, Harold Williamson, and Ken Ward joined Chapman, the city’s longest serving employee, in receiving plaques. Ray has instituted the awards to provide tangible recognition for the countil’s oft stated words of appreciation.

Mark Gargus, Ross Norris, and Danny Robinson joined Ray, Buckelew, and McNair for the April 26 meeting. The council holds its regular sessions the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:15 p.m. in city hall.