Zoning changes win narrow approval from Douglas commissioners | RecordCourier.com

Zoning changes win narrow approval from Douglas commissioners

Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Zoning changes that will allow the expansion of Lampe Park and a strip mall across from the Scolari’s shopping center have won narrow approval.

The Douglas County commission voted 3-2 Thursday to designate a 7.68-acre strip along Highway 395 for neighborhood commercial development. An adjacent 22 acres, bordered on the north by Waterloo Lane, was approved for public facilities and could be used to expand Lampe Park.

The commission split along the same lines that have marked more than a year of debate on development of the land. Commissioners Jacques Etchegoyhen and Bernie Curtis voted against the changes based on concerns about flooding.

“We really need to evaluate the cumulative effects of filling in even a small area,” said Etchegoyhen.

The commercial land will be considered again in October, because the owner, Herbig Properties Ltd., wants to switch the neighborhood commercial use to general commercial.

A neighborhood commercial designation could limit sales of alcohol, while general commercial wouldn’t.

Though commissioners Don Miner and Etchegoyhen said they don’t think there’s a big difference, commissioner Steve Weissinger declared he won’t support a change to general commercial.

The Herbig land has been a source of commission conflict for more than a year, when master plan changes to allow the zoning changes were first sought. The land was zoned for agriculture.

The vote on the original master plan changes was 3-2, with Etchegoyhen and Curtis opposed because of flooding concerns, but was treated as a denial because county regulations required a super majority of affirmative votes.

The Supreme Court ruled in July that the county couldn’t require a super majority and granted the change, which paved the way for the requested zone changes.