The Park Hills Minor Subdivision failed to receive the votes to move forward to reality at Monday’s Boonville City Council meeting.
Ward Two resident Joseph Herzog addressed the council for the final time regarding the minor subdivision. He said that he was an adjacent historic home owner and opposes the plan for the subdivision.
“We sell Boonville as an historic town. When you put four duplexes in predominately single family dwellings in an area where most of the homes are 40 years or older just does not make sense. The thing with single family homes that are rented, they always have the ability to become single family owned. A duplex will always be a duplex in my eyes,” Herzog said.
Herzog also said that 24 years ago they bought a dying piece of Boonville history and brought it back to life.
Monday’s meeting marked the final decision on the Park Hill Minor Subdivision, a plan that has had both opposition and praise.
“This vote is about population density, long term investments in our city and property values. I know first-hand that there a fundamental difference when a person owns and invests in the community vs. renting. Let’s not forget the need to encourage homeowners to invest into our community” Ward One Councilman Mike Kelly said.
Kelly said that other towns have grappled with the same issues as Boonville with renting versus home ownership.
“Just because downtown and near downtown neighborhoods are R2 or R3 zones, we should not assume that it is automatically acceptable to make our older denser part of our town more denser by allowing any lot to be filled with multi-family rental units,” Kelly said.
Kelly said since the proposed duplexes are meant to be rentals from day one, the rentals surrounding the duplexes may one day become single family owned homes again. He also said that there should be a balance of rentals and single family owned homes.
“As a homeowner of Boonville, I strongly urge the city council to protect the investments of all Boonville’s homeowners whether they are located in R1, R2 or R3 zones. In my eye this vote is about the vision this council has for this town. I believe saying no to this will mean that we think this land has more value for the community,” Kelly said.
Ward Two Councilman Noah Heaton said that currently 55 percent of the homes in the community are owned and 45 percent are rented.
“Adding more rentals to the neighborhood, we will tip the scale to being 57 percent rental. From a realtors standpoint, we need to draw more home owner occupied housing,” Heaton said. “The plans presented to us now are not what is good for this community.”
Ward Three Councilman Ned Beach stated that planning and zoning did what they were supposed to do in considering and making recommendations for the minor subdivision. Beach did say that there should have been contact either by the commission or by the developer to the area neighbors.
Beach said that we need to send a strong message to our constituents that we will consider Planning and Zoning approval, the effect on the constituents and the assurance of the best use of every piece of property.
Ward One Councilwoman Kathleen Conway voiced concern over the lack of quality rental housing.
“We need decent rental housing in this town,” Conway said.
Heaton said that the current city ordinances are outdated from the 1960s. He said that ways of living have drastically changed since then. Kelly said that there needs to be more regulation on renters and landlords.
A vote was taken with Ward Three Councilman Hayes Murray abstaining. The vote was four voting against and three for the subdivision. The vote failed to get a majority.
Further on the agenda there was the first reading of the Boonville Ready Mix Plant relocation. Also, the council approved street closures for a film being shot by Greg James Photography on October 26.