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Ironwood rezoning request debated by city commission


IRONWOOD — The Ironwood City Commission Monday took no action on a planning commission hot potato recommendation to reject rezoning for property owned by George Dalbeck.

Dalbeck is seeking rezoning from residential-1 to residential-3 for land at 207 Bonnie Road to allow for construction of a shop/barn to work on logging equipment and house a few horses.

The surrounding properties are all zoned R-1 and after numerous neighbors complained about the proposed rezoning, the planning commission previously rejected it on a 6-0 vote.

The city commission listened to Dalbeck Monday and some city citizens on the planned project.

The city had received 26 letters of opposition to the rezoning in April. The letters cited possible odor from animals, potential noise from logging trucks, blight from spare equipment at the site and iron ore dust in the former mining area.

“We live in a highly concentrated residential area, not a rural area. There are families and families with children that live in close proximity to said rezoning area,” wrote James D. McKenzie, of 112 Bonnie Road. The other 25 letters of opposition were identical, suggesting the industrial park would be a better location for a logging truck repair shop.

But Dalbeck said Monday he bought pieces of property that previous owners had purchased through tax auctions and he wanted to make use of the 60 acres that nobody else seemed to want. He said he’d be working on his vehicles only.

“This is a perfect spot for my business,” he said, but he said he agreed with planning commission member Leroy Johnson, who said Dalbeck should be seeking industrial or commercial zoning, and not R-3.

Dalbeck said he has spent $40,000 on parcels and the city would stand to take in more in taxes if he builds his garage/barn. He said he and his fiance have four kids in the Ironwood school system.

Community Development Director Michael Brown said there is no other R-3 zoning in that area of the city, however, and the city’s comprehensive plan, amended in 2000, identifies the area as intended for single- and two-family homes.

Brown said the main reason for the planning commission’s rejection was that the request was not consistent with the comprehensive plan.

At a May 1 public hearing, Dalbeck said the building would be in a heavily wooded area, wouldn’t be seen and wouldn’t be used by anybody else. He said the girls want a horse or pony. He said the trucks would travel Iron King Road and he didn’t understand the iron ore complaints.

Commissioner Monie Shackleford Monday agreed with the planning commission’s decision, saying the plans are against the comprehensive plan, which backs residents’ sentiments in this case.

But city resident Paul Grbavcich said he supported Dalbeck’s effort to improve the community “100 percent. He’s doing it with his own money, not the city’s,” he said, referring to business loans that have failed.

But two other residents of that area said Monday they didn’t want a commercial business moving near them.

Commissioner Brandon Tauer asked the dozen or so residents of that area attending the meeting if they’d favor a shop/barn if the plan would be modified. They shook their heads in the negative.

After the commission took no action, it’s possible Dalbeck could seek different zoning for his plans. He’d need to head back to the planning commission to do so.


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