The City Council has delayed making a decision on a developer's request for the city to amend its master plan by adding four residential properties adjacent to Wirthlin Drive, just north of Sixth West, to an area intended for general office use.
The properties, which have houses on them, are the only ones on the north side of Wirthlin not presently included in the general office zone. The Boyer Company wants to construct additional parking spaces for an 89,000 square foot office building now under construction behind the lots.The council voted 3-2 Tuesday to continue a public hearing on the request to until its Sept. 13 meeting.
Only two people opposed the change Tuesday. One was the owner of one of the properties in question and the other was a developer who stands to lose a tenant to the Boyer project and who has taken an option on the middle property - making it virtually impossible for Boyer to make a package purchase of the properties.
Greg Gardner, representing Boyer, said added parking needs resulted from a decision by 3M Health Information Systems to lease the entire building now under construction. Originally, 3M was to lease a little over half of the building. Gardner said the original site plan approved by the city provided slightly more than the 3.5 parking spaces per 1000 feet of office space required by city ordinance. 3M, however, wants five spaces per thousand feet, creating a need for additional spaces.
Gardner said his company tried to purchase vacant land just south of the four homes from C.F. Stangl Construction, but a deal could not be completed. He said Boyer then opted to purchase the existing homes with plans to convert that property into additional parking.
That attempt was stymied, however, when Stangl obtained an option on property at 578 W. Wirthlin, the third lot of the four properties. Boyer has obtained options on two properties and has a verbal commitment for a third.
Stangl told the council that his action had nothing to do with the failed sale of his property or the fact that 3M will be vacating his building in favor of the Boyer site. He said he had talked to the involved property owner, Richard Smart, who indicated he didn't want to sell his property but was feeling pressure from the other owners. Stangl said he paid $10,000 for the option which will be in effect for 18 months. He said his only intent was to provide moral support for Smart and to give him the means to resist the pressure to sell.
Smart said the option price was purposely set so high that Stangl would not exercise the right to buy the property, a fact confirmed by Stangl. Smart said he wants to stay at the location even though the other property owners will likely sell to Boyer if the master plan amendment is approved.
Councilman P. Gary Ferrero, representing District 1 where the property is located, said claims that the effort is spot zoning are false. He said the change would better be described as a correction in the plan since the properties invovled are the only ones adjacent to the existing general office and commercial zones not included in those classifications.
Gardner said the delay will create some problems for his company. He said the new building is in a "fast-track" construction process and is scheduled for completion by the end of February 1989.