Officially, Lot 1 of the Mulberry Addition to Derby (from 1622 to 1634 E. Madison Ave.) was slated for a rezoning a long time ago, and the necessary action finally occurred at the Derby Planning Commission meeting on Jan. 7.
In 1981, the lot in question was rezoned from its original R-3 multiple family residential to I-1 institutional. It was then proposed to be rezoned to B-2 neighborhood business district in 1983.
Records show the Derby City Council approved the zone change request on June 7, 1983, contingent on a landscaping plan being submitted and approved by the Planning Commission. However,
no such records of any plans exist with no records of a zoning ordinance change either.
Since 1985, the property has operated as a strip center occupied by an optometrist, veterinary clinic and two beauty salons – with only one of those businesses (optometrist) technically allowed under the current I-1 zoning.
“This property has a long history of non-conforming uses,” said Assistant City Planner Everett Haynes. “We don’t know why these uses were allowed.”
Upon review of a new business registration in September 2020, the history of the non-conforming uses was brought to light and the property owner was made aware.
With that, the action of rezoning the lot was brought back up for official action, as the current makeup of the lot makes it a necessity.
“An existing strip center building on the property is more suitable for the neighborhood business uses permitted by the B-2 district than the office institutional uses permitted by the I-1 and as evidenced by the existing tenant base of the building,” Haynes said.
Having made public notice of the zone change request and hearing no public comment on the issues, Haynes reported the findings of fact led to the recommendation that the zone change from I-1 to B-2 for Lot 1 of the Mulberry Addition be allowed.
With the current businesses in place on the lot, Haynes stated a B-2 neighborhood business district is appropriate zoning for the property and would fit with surrounding zonings and plans for mixed use development in that area.
Under the B-2 zoning, it was noted the veterinary clinic would be allowed with an exception, which will be considered by the Board of Zoning Appeals on Jan. 21.
Seeing no opposition or negative effects, the Planning Commission voted 8-0 to forward a recommendation of approval of the zone change (from I-1 to B-2) to the Derby City Council.