The City Council, in a 3-1 vote, overturned the Planning Commission's denial of Councilman Alan West's plans to build an apartment complex on the site of his brake and wheel business.
Councilmen Jack Siadek, Keith Schuldt and H. R. (Bob) Anderson voted in favor of West's project. Councilman Carl Jacobson opposed the measure. Citing a conflict of interest, West abstained.
West, who was elected to the council in April, plans to turn his business at Virginia Street and Grand Avenue into a parking garage and build a small apartment complex on adjacent property. The Planning Commission rejected West's plans in October saying the project required a "spot change" in zoning from commercial to residential use. The commission also said the project would generate too much traffic in the largely residential area.
However, the council overruled the commission this week after a lengthy public hearing during which several residents said the proposed apartment building would fit in better than the existing business with the single-family homes and condominiums along Virginia Street. Some residents who spoke at the hearing accused West of abusing his influence as an elected official, but the three councilmen who voted in favor of the apartment project denied that West was treated favorably because of his position.