If the zone change is approved, it would be considered spot zoning as there is no other business district zoning adjacent to the site, according to Combs. Approval could set a possible precedent for future zone change requests in Middletown, she said.
Council approved the city’s new development code in February, which updated Middletown’s zoning code from the 1950s.
The city’s current Master Plan identifies the property as part of the “Midd-Central Development Opportunity Area” and this property is identified as “neighborhood preserve and enhance.”
Combs said she received three comments from nearby property owners who oppose the proposed zoning change because they feared the proposed retail store would diminish the property values of the homes and professional offices there. Residents contend the property should continue to be professional use to complement the other professional offices already located there, according to Combs.
The city’s Economic Development Department is not in favor of the zoning change because it does not meet the intent of the development code nor the master plan and would create spot zoning, Combs said.