Newton board denies animal rehab center, mixed-use development plans

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Covington, Ja. The Independent: — Landowners on Crowell Road saw their property plans derailed after county commissioners voted to reject two zoning requests on Tuesday.

Third District Commissioner Alana Sanders said neighbors’ wishes and other commissioners’ concerns about past flooding led her to seek a zoning request to build 300 new county homes and parks overlooking the Yellow River.

Neighbors’ concerns and failed efforts to bring the facility into compliance with county laws for two years are also factored in in Sanders’ request to deny Nicole Kanoe’s conditional use permit for a wildlife rehabilitation facility on her five-acre property.

Sanders said several residents called her to complain about the rehabilitation center, which houses 87 animals of all kinds in a residential area near Newton High School in mid-November.

“The discovery of 87 animals and six alligators in my area in a residential area is really shocking,” Sanders said. “And wolves, and wolves, and bears, and cows, oh my God.”

Called the Wildlife Creatures Rehabilitation Centre, Kanoe’s Wildlife Rehabilitation Center includes pens for a variety of injured animals, including alligators and some small mammals. According to her website, she has also offered an area as a petting zoo for some animals.

Kanoe said the nonprofit was allowed to work on the Crowell Road site because she was her “grandfather.”

Jodi Johnson, Director of Development Services, previously said the property is for residential use, but the nonprofit was a “legal and incompatible” use because the previous owners kept horses and other hoofed animals on the site before the county approved zoning law in the early 1970s.

Kanoe said after the meeting that she planned to find another place for the animals — many sick and wounded — that people would bring to her. She said she invited the commissioners to see the nonprofit but they never came.

She was also disappointed that county officials told her she could take her animals there at some point.

“It is very frustrating to have nowhere to go to the wounded and rescue animals,” she said.

The Board of Commissioners also voted to reject a request from Denny Dobbs to change what could be developed on the 51-acre site south of the Crowell I-20 exit.

It is located on a long, narrow trail sandwiched between Crowell Road and Harold Dobbs in the west and the Yellow River in the east.

Sanders said she “wanted to confirm to the developers” that she had met with District 3 residents about the project.

“They expressed their feelings,” she said. “They were not with the project.”

The property facing the access road in the north and the undeveloped land on the southern boundary of the site. Part of the site is in the flood plain of the Yellow River.

Dobbs requested that Level 1 be changed from the overlay area, which only allows residential construction, to Level 2 on the entire site to allow construction of a mixed-use development because part of it is located in the Yellow River flood plain, zoning officials said.

Sanders said county commissioners in the past have put land “at those specific levels for a reason.”

Other current commissioners also described how the Riverside Estates mobile home park that faces the site across the Yellow River often overflows during heavy rain. Sometimes the county has to bail out residents, Sanders said, and doing the same for those who live on the required land “would cost the county a lot of money.”

J. Harvey, who has been working with Dobbs to develop the site, told the commissioners October 19 that plans include a 300-lot subdivision on a portion of the site and land overlooking the Yellow River that will be awarded to the county government for public development. garden.

Harvey showed the commissioners a site plan that included a single-family subdivision with 241 single-family homes in the central and southern portions of the site surrounding a planned lake; A section on the northern edge supports the Harold Dobbs Trail containing 59 cottages.

The land is now undeveloped and is surrounded by single-family residential uses on the south and west, the Riverside Estates mobile home park across the Yellow River in the east, and churches and Salem Cemetery on the north.

Jodi Johnson, director of development services, said Oct. 19 that the park was about 300 feet from the river and partly outside the floodplain.

She detailed staff conditions in the park, including daily working hours from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.; parking area for 25 places; and install a metal gate, security lights, a storage building, a picnic pavilion, no less than five picnic tables, a dog park, a walking path, and a “big yard” for ages 3 to 8. He said.

Harvey said the developers did not plan to create any access points directly to the river via an existing buffer zone for those who wish to participate in activities such as kayaking.

The request to change the layer was the first step in the process of obtaining approval for the development of the land.

The District’s Moon, Salem, and Brick Store overlay areas add additional requirements to basic zoning requirements for new construction within their boundaries and regulate such things as building materials and buildings must be located minimum distances from property lines.

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