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Planning Board recommends zoning change for law office

ZONING QUESTION -- A zoning change is being sought to build a law office on this property at Fifth and State Streets.
ZONING QUESTION — A zoning change is being sought to build a law office on this property at Fifth and State Streets.
A zoning change to allow construction of a new law office building received a recommendation for approval from the Albion Planning Commission after a public hearing Monday night, Dec. 5.
The vote for approval followed another hour of testimony at the hearing, which was continued from November.
Lindsey Jarecki made the initial statement, outlining the plan to build a 4,000 square foot law office building, with basement and parking, on two lots south of State Street and across Fifth Street from Zion Lutheran Church. She said commercial use is the best fit for these lots, because of their location, traffic pattern and highway frontage. She expressed the opinion that the legal businesses would not create any major change in the traffic pattern of that vicinity.
Jarecki also noted that new developments have increased the availability of residential lots in Albion, adding that there are now more than 60 building lots available.
Several people at the public hearing pointed out that this would constitute “spot zoning” and could create an unwanted precedent for converting residential areas to commercial development. Many again testified in opposition, but many others favored the project.
Some said the corridor along the west side of State Street (Highway 91) is already changing from residential to commercial.
The planning board’s recommendation will go before the Albion City Council during its regular meeting Tuesday night, Dec. 13, at City Hall.
Read more in the Dec. 7 Albion News Print and E-Editions.