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Council denies rezoning request
Officials postpone church expansion
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JEFFERSON — The Jefferson City Council has voted to deny one controversial zoning request and to postpone action on another.

During Monday’s regular voting session, the group voted to deny a request from Elora Stargel for a 20-acre parcel of property on Y Z Sailors Road. Stargel was seeking to have the property rezoned from agricultural rural farm district to two-family residential district with the intentions of developing a condominium neighborhood for seniors.

Neighbors in the rural community attended past city council meetings to voice their disapproval for the project.

After first voting to deny rezoning a nearly four-acre piece of property on the corner of Storey and Cooley streets, the council voted to reconsider the motion and later approved postponing taking action on the matter until its Jan. 25 voting session.

The property is owned by First United Methodist Church of Jefferson. The church was seeking to have the property rezoned to office institutional, so that the group could accommodate the growth of its congregation. As with the Stargel property, the church’s neighbors in the surrounding historic district opposed the church’s request.

“I make a motion to postpone action to allow the city to host a meeting between the church and the community,” council member Roy W. Plott said during the meeting.

The goal of the meeting is to give both sides the opportunity to discuss the project and to possibly find a middle ground. As currently proposed, the church would like to build a larger parking lot and add additional structures on the property for church use.

During the meeting, the council also voted to dissolve the Jefferson Library Board of Trustees. The dissolution followed a written recommendation from the board to the mayor. According to the board’s members, the original functions of the board have been “incorporated into the city of Jefferson policies” and the group’s finances are now also handled by the city, making the board obsolete.

The group also approved reappointing existing department heads to the same positions and a lease agreement for city property located at 55 College Ave.

Following an executive session to discuss personnel matters concerning City Manager John Wards annual evaluation, the group returned to an open session and announced that no action would be taken.

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