It was made perfectly clear Wednesday that residents living near a proposed children’s home in Patterson oppose the project.
The home, to be located at 200 Enterprise Ave., came under fire during a Patterson Planning Commission meeting during which the Rev. Marty Harden requested a variance on behalf of his church, Bethel Pentecostal Fellowship, which is constructing the home and an associated warehouse.
Nearby property owners said they don’t like either portion of the project, but can only fight what is in front of them — at this time, a zoning variance.
Two concrete slabs were on the property when it was purchased, and, the reverend said, there is no way to ensure their integrity. In order to utilize one to construct a 50-foot by 100-foot warehouse, Harden said the slab needs to be reinforced by adding a 2-foot by 2-foot footing on the outside of the existing slab.
Because zoning law requires a 5-foot setback from the property line and the slab already is exactly 5 feet from the property line, the church needs the variance to encroach on the required setback.
Dustin and Stacey Domangue, residents at 210 Enterprise which shares the property line in question, are opposed to the variance.
“The church has probably two or three football fields there. Why do they have to crowd my property line?” D. Domangue asked planning commissioners.
His wife added: “It’s a subdivision. Everyone else has to follow the rules. Why don’t they?”
Vicki and Gary Laubach, 209 Enterprise, which faces the church’s property, also oppose the project.
V. Laubach works as a loan officer and told the board that the project is depreciating the value of homes in the area. They can’t be sold, she said, because there is commercial property being utilized for that purpose in front of their homes.
Clay Jenkins was serving in Afghanistan in 2009 when his wife, Brenda, closed on their home at 205 Enterprise, also across the street from the children’s home.
He said he is against the project because he doesn’t want to walk outside his home and see a warehouse every day. Had he known this project was being contemplated, he would have put his home up for sale before plans were drawn, he said.
“I know we are little people. We’re three households. We can’t stop (this project). All we can do is fight a variance,” B. Jenkins said.
William Gil, an owner of undeveloped land behind the church’s property, is in favor of the project.
Also, Matthew Theriot — who owns two duplexes on one piece of property with the addresses of 108, 110, 112 and 114 Enterprise Ave. — emailed his comments in favor of the project to the city.
Following another unrelated public hearing, the three commissioners present voted to recommend that the city council deny the variance request.
The city council must take action on all planning commission recommendations for them to become final.
In other action, the planning commission recommended:
—Approval of a variance for Nathaniel Clark at 507 Leo Dr., seeking permission to build an awning to park his utility trailer. The property cannot have a main building constructed because of a pipeline that crosses there. Zoning law requires a main building for an accessory building to be constructed, so the variance is required.
—Denial of a request by Allen Angeron at 1012 Jason St., to undo the combination of two adjacent lots, required by the city in order to be able to buy an adjacent lot which was not part of the original subdivision. The city previously allowed that lot to be combined with his home lot on Jason Street, making it one parcel, further mandating that it never to be sold separately, in order to meet subdivision code requirements.
—Consideration of RV campground codes for development and zoning requirements. The matter will be taken under further study by the city council when it meets in October.
The board tabled discussion on proposed amendments to the code for parking on public streets and to the zoning ordinance for mobile home parks in B-Business zones.
Planning commission members present were Gulley Taylor, Hilliard Smith and C.C. Stewart. Allen Williams and Tim McCann were absent.