GREEN RIVER — The Green River City Council hosted a public hearing for a zoning change ordinance on property located on Bridger Drive, however, the first reading of the ordinance was removed from the agenda due to ownership authority and sale issues of the property.
Smith’s Food and Drug Centers, Inc. is the applicant on the request for the amendment to Green River’s Official Zoning Map. Smith’s is requesting for the parcel located at 1175 Bridger Drive to be rezoned from B-2 (Downtown Business) to B-1 (General Business), with the intent to construct a fuel and concession kiosk on the property. The property is currently owned by the United Pentecostal Church.
According to Amy Cox, Planning and Zoning Administrator, the property currently has two different zoning designations and is subject to the requirements of the B-2 zoning district. The larger portion of the parcel, which is the subject of this application, is zoned B-2 and the smaller portion of the parcel is zoned B-1.
While the existing use of the property as a “Center of Religious Worship” is a permitted use in both the B-1 and B-2 zoning districts, gas sales are not. The proposed rezone will combine this split-zoned parcel into one zone district (B-1), and will allow the property to be used for uses such as the fuel and concession kiosk. If the rezoning is approved by the Council, Cox said the church will be taken down.
However, during the Green River Planning and Zoning Commission meeting two church members questioned the authority of the person who signed the rezoning application as CEO of the church to request a rezoning or to sell the church property.
The Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously voted to recommend approval of the petition to rezone the property, with the understanding that the ownership authority and sale issues will be worked out during or through the rezoning process. Cox said the city then requested the applicant provide the city with a corporate resolution of the property owner reflecting the authority of the signer.
“So the church is currently in the process of preparing the requested documents, but since they did not have it tonight, that’s why we removed the action item for the first reading,” Cox said.
The first reading of the ordinance to amend the Official Zoning Map will not be added back onto the agenda until the city receives those documents.
Council’s Questions Answered
Rick Magness, a representative of the engineers on this project, Anderson Wahlen & Associates, made some clarifications on the proposed fuel and concession kiosk during Tuesday night’s meeting. He said that Smith’s has full intent to move forward with this project, but they just need to get the zoning change out of the way.
Magness said the kiosk will include a small area with a restroom for the attendant, a small transaction area, and an area for various concessions. He added that it will be a “24-hour operation”.
The Council questioned why the property was being sought since the parcel is not directly adjacent to Smith’s. Magness said they often cannot find adjacent property, but that this is in close proximity. Therefore he said it is the best location for them.
Councilman Gary Killpack asked why Smith’s would want to put another fuel and concession kiosk so close to Loaf ‘N Jug, which is right on the corner of the street, as Smith’s has “ownership or partial ownership” of Loaf ‘N Jug.
Magness clarified that over the past few years, the ownership has been transacted away from Smith’s. Now, the relationship between the two companies is the point system. The points system is a reward card program, which allows customers at both Smith’s and Loaf ‘N Jug to accumulate points for dollars spent inside the stores on groceries and several different items.
“The point system is there right now, so if you do that kiosk, will that remove the points from that [Loaf ‘N Jug] station?” Killpack asked.
Magness said the points would be shared and that the points at the existing gas station would still be there. Killpack said that means it wouldn’t matter which establishment the customer went to, which Magness confirmed.
“I wouldn’t see a need for the kiosk,” Killpack said. “It just kind of complicates it in my mind.”
In response, Magness said the kiosk would be a benefit to the community because the current use of the property, which is a church, does not generate tax for a community. However, the kiosk would.
The next step for Smith’s is to acquire the zoning change, which will still require three readings of the ordinance before the Council votes on it.