Despite pushback, Davenport gives stamp of approval to rezone land for new salon

News

A new development in Davenport got the stamp of approval Wednesday night. But on Thursday, some neighbors said they’re disappointed in the decision.  

On Wednesday night Davenport Aldermen voted 9-1 in favor of rezoning a plot of land that’s been at the center of debate for weeks. 

It’s 1.5 acres of land located at the intersection of Utica Ridge Road and East 56th Street, and neighbors have voiced their concerns to the city, saying rezoning the area would disrupt the surrounding neighborhoods for a variety of reasons. 

The site is expected to be the future home for a locally owned Pure Hair Studio, and leaves space for developers to build additional commercial space. 

While the city voted in favor, showing support for local businesses, on Thursday, neighbors say they’re more concerned about what else will fill that space. 

Before Wednesday’s decision, the area was a C-0 zone. But on Thursday, the city voted in favor of bumping it to a C-1 zone. Rich Clewell, the 6th Ward Alderman who represents these concerned neighbors, described a C-1 zone as a zone for “light commercial use.” 

Clewell says the decision to vote in favor of a C-1 zone comes after developers scaled back from a C-2 zone, which would have opened the possibility to more large-scale commercial development. 

“So the C-1 is a step down,” said Clewell. “It allows less commercial activity to go into it than a C-2 would.” 

But for Richard Moore, who has lived in his neighborhood for about 5 years, this isn’t the decision his neighbors were hoping for. 

“Raising it to a C-1 gives them the right to put some things in there that we think would not fit well with the neighborhood,” said Moore.

Bonnie Powell, who has lived in the area for 15 years, says she and her neighbors expect these new developments to be disruptive. 

“You can hear the noise from here from I-74 so you’re going to hear that kind of noise coming from Utica Ridge, I believe, if they have businesses in there that are open late at night,” said Powell. 

On Thursday some neighbors said it’s not about filling the space, but about what the city is now capable of filling it with.  

“Building buildings down there that meet the current zoning would’ve seen no objection I don’t think from anybody…to have a bar and a restaurant…we just think in this neighborhood that’s not going to be appropriate,” said Moore. 

“I don’t feel that it’s in the best interest of the community,” said Powell. “Of our community.” 

And while there’s still some decisions to be made, some neighbors say what’s done is done.

“I’m afraid it’s a lost cause for us,” said Moore.

Clewell says he’s heard the concerns from residents about large-scale bars and restaurants in the area, but says based on the amount of land available, the possibility of that seems slim. He says while they have voted to re-zone it, there will be discussions in the future as they decide what else will fill the land.

“It has now been approved as C-1 for the development,” said Clewell. “But does that mean that the city walks away at this point and says it’s a done deal, that we don’t have any interest in it? Well, this is my ward, it’s a ward that I live in, and it’s my responsibility to make sure that those people’s needs are met.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.