Planning For Funeral Home Ordinance

The Hastings Planning Commission met on Monday, November 27th with two items on their agenda. The first item resulted in the approval of rezoning a small section of land at Pleasant Street and Highway 55 for a 3,500 square foot Medical Office building. Commissioners voted to change the zoning from Residential to Commerical. The second action taken was a public hearing on changing and refining the zoning for Funeral Homes and Crematoria in the R-2 Zoning District. John Hinzman presented the staff report describing the issue of expansion for such properties not allowed under current ordinances. This includes the ability to expand the parking area, or building structure that would increase intensification of the property. Two neighbors, Wes Lund and Amy Martin spoke to the board with interest in the future of the property and what impact it may have on the residential neighborhood if another type of business would replace the current Caturia Smidt business when they move to the south Hastings site, soon to be under construction. Martin focused on the historic elements of the neighborhood and Lund wondered if a multi-family dwelling or other commercial use could be approved. Representatives from Wise Funeral Home also spoke, indicating that neighbors of that business were not opposed to a possible expansion that could include construction of a Crematoria. Commissioner Slaten wondered if an economic approach would involve using the resources of the Caturia Smidt crematorium to process cremations without the expense of adding one to their property. That suggestion was met with adament disapproval by Mr. Wise who assured the commissioners he intends to provide the personalized service independently as part of their business. More discussion included a report from Hinzman on his experience observing the operation of a similar crematoria which he said was non-descript in the effect on a similar residential neighborhood. The motion was made to approve the change 5-0 as presented. The
next meeting of the Planning Commission will take place on Monday, December 11, 2017
The next step will be a first reading scheduled for the December 4th City Council meeting with the public hearing and possible action tentatively scheduled for December 18th. The

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