Planning & zoning: Hickory Grove-related items again continued

At its Monday meeting, the City of Rochelle Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously to continue two Hickory Grove-related agenda items to its next meeting for the second consecutive month.

Subdivision of 8th Avenue parcel for storage units approved

ROCHELLE — At its Monday meeting, the City of Rochelle Planning & Zoning Commission voted unanimously to continue two Hickory Grove-related agenda items to its next meeting for the second consecutive month. 

The planning & zoning commission will not meet in July and its next meeting is planned for Monday, Aug. 1. 

The first agenda item was a petition by the city to subdivide the property located at 1123 N. 7th St. to re-subdivide two lots and parts of others. One lot would be transferred to Rochelle Hospitality, LLC, the owner of the Comfort Inn & Suites next door to the Hickory Grove site. 

The second item was Rochelle Hospitality, LLC petitioning to subdivide property located at 1133 N. 7th St. The purpose is to re-subdivide a portion of two lots into one. The newly-subdivided lot would be an exchange of land as per an approved development agreement with the city. The

land exchange would allow the hotel to build an exterior pool, in conformance with city codes, which is required by the franchise.

Both items will possibly be up for public hearing and approval in August, if ready. If approved, the items would go before the city council for final approval. The items had to be continued due to work still being ongoing on the preliminary and final plat of subdivision. 

City Manager Jeff Fiegenschuh has said in the past that the subdivision and replatting and coming to an agreement on a land swap must be done so the hotel can put in a pool and several parking spaces in the Hickory Grove lot that are owned by the hotel would be given to the city. 

The Hickory Grove building was demolished earlier this year by the city as it works to get the site sold and developed this year. The city recently put out a request for proposal for prospective developers that are interested in the site.

The city assumed ownership of the deteriorating building in early 2020 for $1 with the intention of demolishing it and developing the property. The building was previously owned by the Ogle County Civic Center Authority (OCCCA) board, which was under the Ogle County Board umbrella. The city decided to purchase the site so it could control it and likely would’ve had to deal with it later if it was abandoned due to OCCCA being in financial trouble.

Storage units

The planning & zoning commission held a public hearing on and unanimously approved a preliminary and final plat of subdivision for light industry-zoned property on 8th Avenue for the development of a self-storage facility with six units by Haywell, LLC. 

Property owners within 250 feet of the property were notified and City Community Development Director Michelle Pease said no complaints or concerns were received. The issue will now go before the city council at its Monday meeting for final approval.

City staff recommended approval of the preliminary and final plat of subdivision subject to the following: the final stormwater management plan being approved by staff, final engineering being approved by staff, the final plat being modified where necessary from staff comments prior to recording and the posting of required surety prior to the recording of the final plat.

“I know this is a development of Tim Hayden,” Planning & Zoning Commission Chairman Kurt Wolter said. “The other facilities he's put up in town are very nice.”

Workshop

The planning & zoning commission plans to hold a training workshop at its August meeting for its commissioners.

“We've been working on an opportunity for you guys to be able to have some commissioner training,” Pease said. “In conversations with the commission, you all want to better understand what your role is and the kinds of questions that are appropriate. It's important to me that you are all comfortable and you know how much we value your time. We've been working with the American Planning Association to set up a workshop for you guys and we'll have legal counsel here as well.”

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