Controversial Lot Split Request Denied By West Point City Council

After three public hearings and adamant opposition from area homeowners in the Schuetze Addition of West Point, the city council voted last night to reject a lot split request from developer Erv Eisenmenger.

Homeowner Elwood Moore, who has served on the Cuming County Zoning Commission for about a decade, told council members zoning regulations were not met, they were just waived by the West Point Planning Commission.

"The planning commission has chosen to ignore to follow a 10-year plan less than 2 1/2 years through the plan," Moore said. "Each member has a judiciary duty to uphold the regulations and ordinances that exist today. If you're not going to follow your own rules, you should remove them from the books to protect yourself from legal action. Once you allow ordinances to be waived, all future non-conforming buildings will need to be waived or you'll be guilty of discrimination."

Councilman Rick Grovijohn made a motion not to approve the resolution to approve the subdivision and his motion passed 4 to 1 with Deb El voting against the motion. Bruce Schlecht was absent.

At the end of the meeting, Eisenmenger praised city officials for the difficult work they do but explained his side of the issue.

"I suppose I'm a little bit hurt or whatever but I'll get over that. In about two minutes I'll be in something else and I'll forget about it," Eisenmenger joked. "You know, I've got a situation where Tina wants to buy a lot and wanted to split that because she didn't want the whole lot. She wanted to get $20,000 off that lot by having a lot available. So I got the choice now in eating that lot. She's got a lot that's going to be taxed as a residential lot now instead of agricultural. It's going to have more tax than it had in the past. And I can't do anything with it. So that's the side that I see."

Earlier in the meeting the council voted to rezone the area of the old elementary building from residential single family to residential singe and multifamily so Eisenmenger can turn the building into 26 apartments. He hopes to have the third floor ready to go by May first.

The council also tabled a couple of resolutions dealing with sidewalk repairs, sending it to the public works committee for study to determine if the code should be changed and whether to come up with a city-wide plan.

The council also voted to accept Schmader Electric Construction Company's bid of $309,754 for construction of the new substation.

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