ZONING: Council urges neighborhood to resolve controversy themselves

219 Williams Ave.

There was another zoning controversy at the City Council meeting Monday concerning a request by Dr. Ted Methvin to move his dentist office to 219 Williams Ave. The planning and zoning ordinance was introduced at the last council meeting July 8 with a recommendation from the City Planning and Zoning Commission that it be denied.

It was scheduled for a vote Monday night but Methvin requested it be tabled to allow him more time to meet with those objecting to the rezoning. He wants to rezone the house from residential to residential with special exception to operate a dental office. Mayor Lee Posey said he encouraged Methvin to settle the issue with the neighbors so those opposing it didn’t have to return to future meetings. Methvin has seen dentist offices work in residential areas in other cities and said dentists were good neighbors. He said if he couldn’t change the minds of those in opposition, he would not pursue the rezoning.

A family vacation has delayed him talking to those in opposition.

Realtor Mary Williams objected to the rezoning at the last council meeting since her client is trying to sell a property at 225 Williams Ave.,that is on the National Register of Historic Places. She said it was imperative that the zoning remain unchanged because of that historic designation. Williams said Methvin had not talked to the neighbors and they didn’t want to have to return over and over again. “It tends to start an avalanche,” Williams said at the last council meeting.

Barbara Strauss said the issue had been ongoing for six weeks and questioned giving Methvin more time. She said there were several letters on file opposing the rezoning.

Betty Maroney asked the council why they could not vote with the citizens who were in opposition.

Bill Finical was at the meeting Monday and was at the one two weeks ago. He and others believe the commercial rezoning would encroach on the residential area. Others cited potential problems with traffic at the house.

At the last meeting, realtor Mark Sutton said that there would be plenty of parking and the area already had mixed use zoning. One house near Williams Avenue was recently rezoned for an attorney’s office and another is a financial investment business.

The vote was unanimous to table the request and give Methvin one month before voting on it. The council then had favorable votes on two ordinances. The first was an easement from the Evans Family LLC, providing for asphalt overlay of a gravel road, Rue de Gabriel, at the western end of Parc Natchitoches. It will give access for garbage and maintenance trucks. Evans Family LLC will reimburse the City 50 percent of the costs, not to exceed $40,000. The other ordinance finalizes the sale of 4.7 acres on Daniel Street to Archie’s Towing Service LLC for $254,500.

The council introduced two ordinances. The first calls for annexation of 87 acres east of Limekiln Road and south of Rue de Gabriel at the request of owners, Evans Family LLC, to enhance further development of the property. The other calls for an option agreement with Cane River Solar to develop a solar farm on property in the Natchitoches South Industrial Park that is south of Pilgrim’s Pride feed mill. The final votes will come at the meeting Aug. 19.

The council also passed three resolutions. The first is a cooperative endeavor agreement with the La. Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The City will provide an annual payment of $10,674 to support the Natchitoches office. Parish Government provides a similar amount. The second resolution authorizes the lease of a lot to Air Vac EMS at Natchitoches Regional Airport. The third resolution authorizes acceptance of a grant from the FAA to acquire land for approaches at the airport.