Owners of properties surrounded by Mesa State appeal rezoning decision
Owners of two homes that are surrounded by properties owned by Mesa State College want Grand Junction City Council members to reconsider a denial to rezone their property.
Clark Carroll and Phyllis Carroll, who own homes at 1220 and 1240 Cannell Ave., were denied a request to rezone their properties from residential to residential office space by a majority vote of council members during a June 1 meeting.
The Carrolls now are asking council members to reconsider their stance because the Carrolls plan to develop mixed-use living space and commercial space on the site, similar to buildings already constructed by the college.
Council members will take up the issue Wednesday night during a public hearing.
“The building would serve as a close-to-campus, mixed-use facility where students and/or faculty could rent affordable living space and office-type businesses such as a CPA, counselor or attorney ...” according to a letter from the Carrolls’ consultant, Alicia Herring. “The construction of the structure would be handled as a private endeavor to help meet the expanding student population housing demand and at a later date could be obtained by MSC, subsequently saving the college the time and expense involved with new construction.”
The Grand Junction Planning Commission told the council the proposed zoning is an allowed use in that area, and it recommended rezoning the property. But City Council members said they wanted to support the college in its efforts to expand in that area, and they denied the request.
Mayor Tom Kenyon and City Council member Sam Susuras sided with the Carrolls and voted in favor of the rezone request.
According to the letter, if the council again denies a request to rezone the property, the decision violates private property rights.
“The planning review process is in place to insure private property owners the ability to develop private property according to private use standards,” the letter reads. “Without a rehearing of the Carroll Rezone, the applicant’s rights as private property owners have a chance of going unhonored. These privately owned lots should be treated as such until a transfer of ownership occurs.”
Mesa State College has routinely purchased homes west of the college in recent years, but attempts to purchase the Carrolls’ homes have been unsuccessful, according to Derek Wagner, director of strategic initiatives for the college.