A controversial proposal to rezone a building on Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach will be back before the village planning commission Monday evening.

A controversial proposal to rezone a building on Highway 5 in Sunrise Beach will be back before the village planning commission Monday evening.

According to Sunrise Beach planner Roger Corbin, the commission is expected to make an up or down recommendation March 5 on the commercial rezoning application made by Jason Todd for 16238 N. Highway 5. The Heartland Real Estate Holdings owner purchased the property which includes a large, warehouse-style building in recent months. It was previously used to sell windows and components. 

Todd is seeking to have the property zoned C2, a general commercial. It is currently a C1 designation, which for the village includes primary uses of restaurants, offices, services, churches, daycare, schools, medical clinics and fire stations.

A C2 designation allows a higher use, including car services, hotels, large retailers, drive-through banks, bars, RV parks, theaters and more.

The designations relate to the amount of traffic that comes through the designated areas.

The planning commission heard opposition testimony on the application in January following the initial presentation by the owner in December.

Planning Commission Chair Gerald Jasper explained at the January hearing that the commission would be reviewing the requested zoning to consider how it fit with the Village of Sunrise Beach Master Plan which lays out the town’s vision for character and atmosphere of each part of the city.

There were concerns expressed at the meeting about what type of business might open at the location when Todd said that a specific type of business had not been selected. His plans were to lease the property. Todd claimed the property and building, as a ware-house style structure, could not be successfully leased under the primary uses allowed under C1 zoning. 

Shrimp Daddy’s Restaurant owner Dean Underwood spoke on behalf of himself and other businesses in the vicinity of the property in questions, expressing concerns about allowing the higher use zoning and its possible impact on their existing businesses.

“It scares me that I could hypothetically have an asphalt plant next door,” Underwood said. “As it is, I don’t see how anything of benefit could go in here under C2. I see the potential for drawback.”

Jasper commented that 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.”

Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees Chairman and planning commissioner Curt Mooney also commented that the board could not change the zoning without a plan from Todd on what would go at the location under the requested zoning.

“As a leasing company, I can’t say who will move in there. I don’t know who will come in,” said Todd.

Linda Krehbul, a Sunrise Beach resident, was one voice in favor of rezoning, saying it was an empty building that needed to be filled.

Mooney suggested the board continue with the zoning until Todd could provide them with a plan. Todd agreed, and the issue was tabled.

It is anticipated that Todd will provide rebuttal to opposition or some form of his plans for the property at the March 5 meeting which begins at 6 p.m. at Sunrise Beach City Hall.

Once the village planning commission makes a recommendation on the case, it will go to the board of trusteees, and through another hearing process, for a final decision.