Planning and Zoning Chair Gerald Jasper opened the meeting by stating the commission does not create the zoning, but reviews the current and requested zoning to see if it complies with the Sunrise Beach Master Plan. With three distinct areas of the city being designated, they needed to be sure any rezoning complied with the character and atmosphere of the area.

The Village of Sunrise Beach Planning and Zoning Commission tabled a divisive discussion to rezone a property off of Highway 5 after a public hearing last week.
Jason Todd, owner of Heartland Real Estate Holdings, purchased the building located at 16238 North Missouri Highway 5. The building is a large, warehouse-style structure that had previously been used to sell windows and components. Todd had several ideas for the property, but they needed a C2 zoning designation to operate. The property is currently zoned C1.
A C1 designation means that restaurants, office spaces, services, churches, daycares, schools, medical clinics and fire stations. This can be expanded with conditional use permits. A C2 designation will allow car services, hotels, large retailers, drive-through banks, bars, RV parks, theaters, printing services and animal hospitals. The designations relate to the amount of traffic that comes through the designated areas.
Planning and Zoning Chair Gerald Jasper opened the meeting by stating the commission does not create the zoning, but reviews the current and requested zoning to see if it complies with the Sunrise Beach Master Plan. With three distinct areas of the city being designated, they needed to be sure any rezoning complied with the character and atmosphere of the area.
“We need to hear what everyone has to say,” said Jasper. “We’ve had a lot of input on this matter.”
The meeting began in earnest with Commissioner Dawn Merrill requesting fiduciary information from Todd.
“I want to see annual sales and hard numbers to see the benefit of the rezoning to Sunrise Beach,” she stated. “I want to see where it benefits the city. I want gross sales, projected sales, and I want numbers to look at.”
Todd responded he would be willing to provide those from his current business of Heartland Marine, but as he did not know who the building would potentially be leased to, he could not provide numbers for the proposed rezoning.
Dawn responded, asking why his request should be considered if Todd didn’t have any firm ideas of what he would allow into the property.
“I want proof it will provide revenue. I want projections, I want guarantees that you will put someone in there. I want you to prove it will provide taxes,” Merrill said.
Jasper intervened at this point, stating that the board was considering rezoning and needed to be sure the character of the area would be preserved.
“What you’re telling us is that you want to lease it to any comers,” he said.
Dawn agreed, saying they wanted to see a positive impact without any negative influence.
“As a member of the Board of Trustees, we do not approve merchant licenses on the merit of tax revenue,” Mayor and Commission member Curt Mooney weighed in. “We don’t need any of that. What we want to see is what will go in there, and you haven’t told us that.”
Todd asked if he was supposed to find who he would lease to and then bring that to the board. The board answered yes.
“What kind of party will you lease it to?” asked Merrill. “Anybody is a broad spectrum.”
“Heartland Real Estate Holdings does leasing,” answered Todd. “We can’t use that building for C1 purposes the way it’s built.”
At this point, the board moved on to hear comments from other meeting attendees. Dean Underwood, owner of Shrimp Daddy’s restaurant, spoke on behalf of himself and some surrounding businesses, who were unable to attend.
“I think the city did well operating the area as C1, with C2 outside of that,” he said. “If Heartland Marine, visually, was to come there, I see no benefit.”
Merrill asked him to specify, asking “So zoning C2 could negatively impact your business?”
“It scares me that I could hypothetically have an asphalt plant next door,” he replied. “As it is, I don’t see how anything of benefit could go in here under C2. I see the potential for drawback.”
Jasper told the meeting that at this point, the board had no way of judging how a C2 zoning would impact the area.
“There’s no point to the Master Plan if we don’t follow it,” he said. “We have to determine what’s best for the village, prove it will not negatively impact the environment.”
Mooney informed Todd that the board could not change the zoning without a comprehensive plan.
“All I see is you want C2 without telling us what you want with it,” said Jasper.
“As a leasing company, I can’t say who will move in there. I don’t know who will come in,” responded Todd.
“That’s the bottom line,” said Jasper.
Linda Krehbul, a Sunrise Beach resident, said she didn’t care to see the empty building every day.
“An empty building is not productive,” she said. “It tells me that business is not here. It makes me not want to live here. If we get a business there, it will be good for the city.”
The board agreed that empty buildings are unattractive, but still said they needed to know what would be going in before they made any kind of zoning recommendation.
Todd brought up the planning and zoning code, and thought that his building might be “grandfathered” in due to the age of construction. He was informed that the designation reverts to a C1 after the original owner who was “grandfathered” in leaves the location.
“Find out what you want to do with it,” said Jasper. “We can reject your request, but you can always bring it back to us.”
Mooney suggested the board continue with the zoning until Todd could provide them with a plan. Todd agreed, and the issue was tabled until the next meeting.