Change to encourage commercial development
By Holly Neumann
The Manawa Common Council held a public hearing Jan. 15 to discuss rezoning the property at 103 S. Bridge St.
The lot may be amended from Planned Industrial to Community/Downtown Commercial due to plans for a commercial building.
The property is currently owned by Thomas Carelli and the city of Manawa.
Dean and Wendy Remington, owners of Remington Quality Foods located directly across the street, expressed their concern about this change.
“We are here to say no to the zoning change request at 103 S. Bridge St.,” Wendy said. “We do not want it rezoned for the purpose of a nationwide small, big box. We are here to say no to the city council giving Dollar General everything including the kitchen sink.”
Mayor John Smith stopped Remington to remind her they were there to only discuss the rezoning of the property.
“We are not here to discuss what business goes on that property. We are here to discuss the rezoning,” he said.
Smith also pointed out that rezoning the property would match the preferred use map the city put together more than 10 years ago.
Remington said she would like the property to be used for a bigger park or an aquatic center for the community.
“We would like to see it more accessible to the public,” she said. “There is nothing for the kids to do here in the winter. People have to travel to New London, Waupaca or Iola to use an Aquatic Center.”
The board members noted this particular property would not be able to stay commercial for any of those purposes.
Smith again emphasized the importance of matching the preferred use map.
“The rezoning was something looked at many years ago to help our downtown,” Smith said. “We really need to focus on bringing more commercial business here.”
Remington questioned if this decision was at the expense of other businesses.
“Commercial business would help our downtown,” Smith said. “We are looking to bring opportunity to the city. When we give more opportunities to our own city, people don’t have to leave.”
The council later unanimously adopted resolution 2018-1 granting rezoning of the property.