The North Platte city council breezed through a busy agenda Tuesday, with one exception.

At a public hearing to rezone four acres of land north of Pal’s Brewery, a woman who lives near that area voiced concern.

Sandy Eicke said the rezoning, from agricultural to commercial, opens the door for the brewery to expand, which might cause problems with people who live nearby.

Eicke said the brewery is sometimes too noisy and brings unwanted traffic, which is especially a concern at night when the brewery closes around 10-11 p.m.

Zoning Administrator Judy Clark told Eicke that the property owners have no current plans to build a commercial structure on the land north of the brewery.

Clark said the zone must change from agriculture, because the tract is less than 10 acres. Zoning regulations prohibit tracts of less than 10 acres in agriculture zones in Lincoln County. The zone that makes the most sense there is commercial, she said.

Clark also said the buyers, Stonebridge LLC, are a cattle company that plans to keep the four acres in hay. She said they are related to the Oettinger family who own and operate the brewery.

Previously, the city planning commission unanimously approved the change, according to council documents.

Eicke was unsatisfied. She told the council the brewery’s tasting room is more like a bar at times, with too much noise and traffic. She asked about the allowed capacity at the place.

Mayor Dwight Livingston answered. He said he didn’t know the capacity offhand, but assured Eicke that violations, if there are any, would be addressed.

Before the vote, Councilman Jim Nisley also voiced concern.

Nisley said he’d heard from others in that area about the noise and traffic and he voted against the rezoning.

Next, the council voted to authorize the “Otter Second Subdivision” on the property. The council agreed to the subdivision on a 5-2 vote, with Councilman Brook Baker joining Nisley in voting no.

Councilman Jim Carman was absent from the meeting.

Earlier, Pal’s also received two special designated licenses, one for a fundraiser for Fur the Love of Paws from 4-9 p.m. Dec. 3 at the D&N Event Center.

The other is for a Sip and Shop at Brittany’s in the Platte River Mall from 2-10 p.m. on Dec. 14.

 

Downtown improvement

In other business, the council approved a $350,000 allocation from the quality growth fund to improve the fronts of buildings in the core of the original part of North Platte.

The council unanimously approved the allocation without discussion.

The money will pay matching grants to improve the fronts of buildings from First to 13th streets, and between Vine and Walnut.

The city’s historic preservation commission will have the task of reviewing the designs for all improvements and setting the grant amounts – up to $10,000 per building, with possibly as much as $20,000 per building on the corners of intersections.

Buildings must be at least 50 years old to qualify.

And, building owners or tenants must match the grant dollar-for-dollar, according to the rules of the program.

More information is available from the Chamber and Development office. Applications are available from the city planning and zoning office, 311 West Third, or www.ci.north-platte.ne.us/

The grant program will sunset in two years.

 

Liquor licenses

The council also forwarded liquor license applications from three places — the Prairie Arts Center, the Qdoba restaurant near I-80, and the Sandhills Liquor store at Fourth and Poplar.

At the arts center, officials seek a license to serve beer, wine and distilled spirits on the three floors that are now open.

Wine and canvas art classes could be held in the studio (basement), the application says. The first and second floors can be rented for meetings and events where alcohol could be served by certified staff and security, according to the application.

The Qdoba restaurant has a new manager and Sandhills Liquor was recently sold to a new owner, thus the license applications.

All three applications will be forwarded to the state liquor control commission with no recommendation either way, which is the council’s standard practice.

 

In other business, the council:

  • Agreed to place stop signs on Francis Street at Tabor Ave. Francis St. has been extended for three blocks from Poplar to connect with Tabor.
  • Agreed to purchase two 2019 Freightliner semi-tractors from $214,722. The Nebraska Truck Center in North Platte was the winning bidder.
  • Authorized the submission of the 2016-17 road and street highway budget and expenditure report to the state, a requirement for state funding.
  • Approved an assessment of $31,000 to property owners for a water line that stretches about two blocks, on Front Street from Mills to Buffalo Bill, then south on Buffalo Bill to Sixth St. The city will pick up the rest of the cost — about $26,000.
  • Authorized a routine maintenance agreement with the Nebraska Department of Roads to take care of some state roads that pass through North Platte. The city receives about $48,000 for the work.
  • Approved a lease agreement with Miller and Sons Golf Cart’s for the Iron Eagle Golf Course for 36 golf carts at $91 per month per cart.