The Sedalia Planning and Zoning Commission met Wednesday evening to review rezoning applications and have discussions on different types of housing. 

The commission approved a rezoning application for two properties at 102 E. Ham Street and E. Ham St. from R-1 to M-1 for C&E Excavating. Community Development Director John Simmons explained the property was connected to the company’s other property for the C&E Excavating business at 1006 N. Ohio Ave., which the commission had approved a similar rezoning application for in 2019. 

“We (staff) recommend the application for rezoning be approved,” Simmons said. “It would be compatible with the neighboring zone uses focused on commercial activity located on State Highway 765. Properties that are in proximity to this location in the city limits and just outside in Pettis County are used as commercial properties. The recent addition and annexation of Nucor, in the case of this area, will experience commercial and industrial growth...It would be in the interest of the public to see this property rezoned.”

The commission tabled a rezoning application for the properties of 1602 S. Harrison Ave., 1606 S. Harrison Ave., and 1618 S. Harrison Ave. from C-1 to C-3 to give the owner time to fix some deficiencies on the property. The owner agreed to a 60-day period to fix the deficiencies or at least have a status update. A public hearing was hosted for both rezoning applications prior to the commission’s vote. 

The board also approved a preliminary plat which will create the Bonneville Subdivision for applicant Jeff Redford of Ensign Properties. Commission member Greg Nehring abstained from voting. The subdivision will consist of nine lots with a gross acreage of 4.58 acres and be located at Water Tower Road and 12th Street. 

Simmons explained there were two things the city wanted to verify or correct. The Sedalia Fire Department wanted to make sure there was a 28-foot turn radius for their trucks to get through if it ever needed to go out there. The language at the top of the paperwork had “County of Pettis” which needs to be changed to “City of Sedalia.” Simmons recommended the committee approve it, knowing the deficiencies had to be corrected. 

Simmons also led the committee in a couple of discussions regarding townhouses and tiny houses. Simmons said the city’s current regulations on R-3 properties require 100 feet for the lot width. Simmons said the department was looking at the possibility of reducing that to make it more flexible for developers, especially those looking to put in townhouses. City Administrator Kelvin Shaw said the city had been approached by potential developers before.

“Part of how this came up is we were looking at a potential developer and basically the way we’ve got it zoned and the way we’ve got things entered on the codes,” Shaw said. “We’re precluding land from being developed. We’re working against ourselves and setting the rules to where a piece of property cannot be developed.”

The committee also discussed “tiny houses,” which are 250 to 400 square feet. The commission discussed how both of these types of housing were becoming more in demand and more affordable for people. Simmons said the city was going to continue working on and looking into both issues and would bring them to the commission again. 

At the end of the meeting, Mayor John Kehde brought up the need for the city to come up with ordinances and licensing for Airbnbs as they have started to become popular. 

“We currently do not have any ordinance or zoning requirements for Airbnbs,” said Kehde. “We have approximately 19 in Sedalia kind of randomly operating…I think from the standpoint of logic it’s going to increase in popularity especially along the Katy Trail. It’s going to be dynamic, it’s going to fit that mold. I think it’s something that we need to incorporate into our city so people can come in and get applications for those licenses. Right now they’re not licensed.”

All items approved by the committee will go to the Sedalia City Council for approval. 

The committee’s next meeting will be March 4. 

Board member Jeff Wimann was absent. 

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