Residents in the area of S. Buffalo Bill Ave. expressed concerns and frustrations Tuesday about a potential rezoning across the street from Pal’s Brewing during the city council meeting.

Mark Oettinger requested an amendment to the city’s comprehensive plan to rezone his land from low-density single-family Residential to Commercial.

The land is on the east side of Buffalo Bill Ave., just north of State Farm Road and across from Pals. Oettinger would like to construct a boat service center. He said the location is ideal as most boat owners in town use Buffalo Bill Ave. to travel to and from Lake Maloney.

Oettinger said North Platte generally lacks boating services, and the center would provide several technical jobs. City utilities are accessible to the north, which is why the building would be located on the north part of the property. Oettinger said boats would be serviced inside the shop, and much thought has gone into decreasing the noise level. 

Ken Kaskie spoke on behalf of subdivision residents east of Oettinger’s property. Kaskie said 47% of the subdivision residents within 300 feet of the proposed zone change oppose the change, eight of whom were present at the meeting.

Kaskie said residents choose to live there because they appreciate the tranquility and lack of thru traffic, which they believe would be disrupted if the commercial business is allowed. Kaskie said they have been told the change would adversely affect their properties.

He said Oettinger’s property is outside city limits, so the city would not benefit tax-wise. He and the other residents invested in the area with the idea that it would remain residential. He predicted that the noise level would be highly disruptive.

Kaskie said the owner’s actions speak louder than words, as they plan the building as far away as possible from their Air BnB on the south side of the property because, in his opinion, of noise.

“I don’t feel the benefit of one person should be at the expense of many,” he said, adding that there are plenty of other places where the shop could be located. 

Bev Gottulla, a subdivision resident, said her quality of life would be interrupted. She has had an open field behind her house and beautiful scenery from her patio for 20 years.

Sarah Pearson spoke of the noise from Pals Brewery. She said the brewery has proven time and time again to be disrespectful of the neighborhood.

Calvin Songster agreed with what his neighbors said and opposed the rezoning. 

Gary Person, the president of the North Platte Area Chamber and DevCo, said businesses should be expected to want to be along the Buffalo Bill corridor.

Councilman Pete Volz noted that if Oettinger wants to sell any of the land in the future, he will have to return to the council to subdivide it. Volz asked if the building would have a fence, and Oettinger said there would be one along the east property line.

Councilman Mark Woods asked if a fence would be built along the south of the building. Oettinger said yes, for security purposes.

Councilman Jim Nisley and Councilwoman Donna Tryon said they received many calls opposing the rezoning. Tryon asked Planning Administrator Judy Clark to explain how her office notifies the neighbors of such developments.

Clark said residents within 300 feet are sent a certified letter informing them, 10 days in advance of the public hearing. Also, a meeting notice is sent to the newspaper, and a notice is posted on the property, all according to state statute.

Kaskie said the sign needed to be maintained, as many residents did not see it.

Councilman Ed Rieker opposed the rezoning because the residents built their homes thinking the area would be residential.

Councilman Brad Garrick said with Buffalo Bill’s speed limit of 45 mph, he had difficulty seeing the area as residential.

Nisley moved to table the rezoning for further discussion. The council voted in favor of tabling on a 6-1 vote. Rieker cast the no vote.  

Apartments approved

In other action, the council narrowly approved a redevelopment plan for the Canteen Commons Apartments. The 28-unit apartment complexes are planned just east of the Federal Building near downtown. The vote was 4-3, with Tryon, Woods, and Rieker voting no. Mayor Brandon Kelliher cast a yes vote to break a tie, because Ty Lucas was absent from the meeting.

The mayor asked developer Charlie Burwick when he planned to start building. Burwick said they would close the purchase on June 10 and begin work on June 11.

Also, the council unanimously approved the rezoning of 2401 E. Second from an R-M Mobile Home District to an R-3 Dwelling District. The owner, Bryan Cabrera, requested the change to help sell some undeveloped property.

In a heartfelt gesture, the mayor expressed gratitude to the city workers who dedicated Sunday night to cleaning up and making repairs after the severe storm that knocked out the power to the entire city.

He commended their efforts, which led to restoration of most of the electricity by 6 a.m. Monday morning. 

In other business, the council approved:

  • A conditional use permit for the North Platte Cowboy Church (formerly Lonestar Cowboy Church of North Platte) at 1911 North Buffalo Bill.
  • The renewal of an interlocal fuel agreement between Lincoln County and the city of North Platte.
  • An amendment to ordinance No. 4168 relating to the Enforcement of Animal Control, aligning the ordinance with North Platte police policies and procedures. The council waived the three required readings.
  • A variance of lot depth for the Cadena Replat at 2803 W. Sixth St.
  • A special designated liquor license to the Fraternal Order of Eagles #2839 from 1 p.m.-1 a.m. on Sept. 6 for the Cody Cruisers supper and registration when car owners arrive for the annual car show.
  • A special designated liquor license to Brick Street Cork and Cap from 3 p.m.-11:30 p.m. on June 28 at Jerry Remus for Business After Hours.
  • An authorization for the mayor to execute a grant for a High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Initiative- Cooperative Operation for Drug Enforcement. 
  • The minutes from the May 21 meeting.
  • The treasurer’s report for April.
  • The claims (paying the bills)

© 2024 The North Platte Bulletin. All rights reserved.