FROM STAFF REPORTS
Aurora — City voters will decide whether a 0.67-acre lot on East Garfield Road will be rezoned from commercial to residential when they go to the polls Nov. 5.
Issue 6 is one of two local issues on the ballot; the other being Issue 7, a 1.2-mill additional tax levy to boost funding for the police department. There also are three countywide renewal tax levies on the ballot.
Several months ago, East Garfield Road resident James Occhinzzi asked the planning commission to recommend to City Council to rezone his 0.67-acre lot from C-1 shopping district to R-2 residential.
He was having trouble selling the property because of the commercial designation.
According to Planning-Zoning-Building Director Rich Wehrenberg, Occhinzzi has since sold the residence, but the city feels it is appropriate to rezone it.
The proposed rezoning would adjust the boundary of the C-1 shopping / depot overlay district along East Garfield Road. Wehrenberg has said the existing structure on the lot is better suited for residential use than commercial.
The lot sets back from East Garfield Road along the former right-of-way of the Norfolk Southern Corp. and is bordered on the east by commercially-zoned land and on the north and west by residentially-zoned land.
During the planning commission’s discussion about the issue earlier this year, realtor Pat Korner explained the property has been used as a single-family home for many years, and Occhinzzi tried to sell it for several years, and several attempts failed.
She said the property is not a good location for a business because it can barely be seen from East Garfield Road and is accessed by a driveway shared with a residential neighbor to the northwest.
Planning panelists agreed with Korner that rezoning is justified, and Council eventually concurred that the issue should go to voters for a final determination.