City Council approves a special request permit

By Sharon Wittke

Carbondale City Council heard discussion on two resolutions concerning zoning requests at its meeting Tuesday, but only approved one.

The council voted unanimously to approve an amended resolution that will allow a builder to construct apartments designed for R-3, or high density residential, districts in an area zoned as a secondary business district.

Council members also voted unanimously to table a second zoning request until the property owner could provide the city’s planning commission more information about the property’s boundary lines.


Paul Jaros requested a special use permit to build three apartment buildings at 2251 S. Illinois Ave., which is zoned as a secondary business. In the plan originally presented to the City Council, each building would have contained four one-bedroom apartments, which are permitted in high density residential districts.

Councilman Lance Jack said he was concerned about the residential look of the property and asked if the applicant would agree to modify the plan so that two duplexes, instead of a single four-apartment building, faced South Illinois Avenue.

Jaros agreed to the modified plan.

Councilwoman Jane Adams said she was concerned about the required five foot buffer zone between the apartment’s parking lot and the adjacent private residence.  She said she would like to see that zone wider.

Jaros said he would probably be able to widen it by a couple of feet, but he said there was a slope already on the property that creates a natural buffer.

The council voted unanimously to approve the amended resolution.

The second zoning resolution involved property, owned by Cheryl Bryant, is located at 7035 Old Highway West 13. There are four buildings on the property — two residential structures and two storage buildings that were originally intended for use as residential structures.  However, the owner had not secured the proper zoning permits at the time of their construction, so the buildings could only be used for storage.


At the council meeting, the property owner requested that the property be rezoned from general agricultural use to planned unit development, which would allow her to use the renovated storage buildings as income property after they were brought into compliance with city codes.

The city’s senior planner, Chris Wallace, said the buildings may not be set back far enough from the property line to comply with standards set for residential buildings.

Since the time that the storage buildings were constructed, the city had increased the amount of setback required for residential buildings, Wallace said.

It is the property owner’s responsibility to determine where his property line actually exists by using the services of a surveyor, Wallace said. After the actual property line has been accurately determined, the city can measure the amount of distance between the property line and the building to determine if it can be used as a residence.

“The burden of proof is on the property owner,” he said.

Adams had originally moved to adopt a resolution denying the property owner’s request for rezoning, but after discussion by council members, the motion was made to review the resolution at a future time, after the owner had more information about her property line.