DAYTON - Two controversial zone change requests have been recommended by the Lyon County Planning Commission.
Despite protests from fire officials and neighbors, requests from William Mitchell and Michael Zacharias to change the zoning from 6,000 square foot residential to limited commercial at 180 River and 155 Gates streets respectively were approved.
Commissioners voting in favor cited the county's master plan, which puts both properties in the commercial zone.
Mitchell has said he wishes to create offices where a home now exists. Zacharias wants to put an antique shop on what is now a vacant lot.
Central Lyon County Fire District Fire Prevention Specialist Mary Ellen Holley said both properties would have to meet Uniform Fire Code guidelines, which isn't required of residential properties.
Holley explained that an additional 12 to 14 feet in street width might be needed to meet the code.
Neighbors want to preserve the residential nature of River Street, noting it is within a designated federal Landmark Historic area.
"This is a quiet residential area, within national historic boundaries," Duana Lompa said. "There is abundant commercial property in the community. Somewhere the commercial has to end."
Residents constructed a large map of old Dayton displaying the underlying master plan zoning, the county's current zoning designations and current uses. It showed a number of conflicting uses within the area.
With a county funded master plan review for the Dayton area currently under way, some wanted the zoning decision put off until it is completed. Planning Commission Chairman Ken Gardner disagreed.
Voting against the request, Maryanna Hamer and Jan Hunewill noted the fire department's concerns and the number of residents in opposition.
Lyon County commissioners approved identical requests from Mitchell and Zacharias in 1998, but following complaints by neighboring property owners who had not been notified of the hearings, the commissioners voted to reconsider the applications.
In February 1999 after listening to opposition, the commission reversed their prior decision and denied the applications. However, Mitchell and Zacharias appealed and another hearing was ordered.
County commissioners will hear the applications on April 7.