Anderson’s next push: rescind comp plan decision
MONROE - Rivmont Drive resident Lowell Anderson is probably still smiling about winning an appeal he filed challenging the adequacy of the city’s phased Environmental Impact Statement on the land below his property, but he hasn’t stopped there.
He and fellow appellant and neighbor Jeff Rogers submitted a letter to the city and its council on July 30 requesting it rescind a council-approved comprehensive land amendment in line with Heritage Baptist Church’s requests to rezone the land.
The City Council approved that on July 10 with a 4-2 council vote.
The amendment, which was made specifically to allow 50 acres in east Monroe to be rezoned from limited open space to general commercial, was made on the basis of a required environmental impact evaluation that Anderson’s camp claimed was not adequate.
Two weeks ago, the city’s hearing examiner agreed. In a three-and-a-half-hour-long appeal hearing, city examiner John Galt heard both sides and ruled in favor of Anderson July 24.
Galt flatly rejected the church’s and city’s assertion that the rezone proposal “in and of itself does not have any environmental impacts.”
Anderson’s camp has been asking the city to stop the plan amendment and concomitant rezone for two years, but Anderson said last week he’s unsure if the recently submitted letter will make a difference.
City public works director Brad Feilberg said last week that he isn’t aware of any ordinance or state law that requires the City Council to acknowledge the document.
As of last week Anderson hasn’t yet received a response from the city. Mayor Robert Zimmerman could not be reached for comment.
“They’ve already ignored me for two years, I don’t know what would change their attitude now,” Anderson said last week.
He added that he submitted the letter also in an effort to stop the city from “hemorrhaging any more of the city’s resources” on the issue.
“The Final Phased Environmental Impact Statement is inadequate as a matter of law,” Galt wrote.
The phased environmental study “defers all environmental analysis to the future rather than addressing the ‘big picture’ before the decision to change the land use designation and zoning is made,” Galt wrote, which discredited one of the city’s major talking points in defense of the study.