March 14, 2024

By: Katherine Trowbridge

The Connell City Council held a closed record hearing to consider approval of a rezone for 66.67 acres of property at the north end of Connell.

The request is for a rezone from urban reserve to commercial general of property located between Coyote Ridge Correctional Center and Highway 395. Open record hearing was heard by the planning commission with the applicant, staff, and one member of the public speaking on the issue.

Despite the advice of AHBL and City Administrator Cathleen Koch, the planning commission moved the item forward to council with a recommendation for approval.

In the staff report AHBL, represented by Emily, expressed their recommendation would be to deny, stating she spoke on behalf of and as an extension of the city staff. She stated that staff sees the rezone as “premature” going on to highlight the lack of water and sewer availability to the site.

Amy Grey, realtor representing the applicant Karl Singh, stated that their end goal is to ask for this change so that this land can be put into its highest and best use. She went on to state that they would like to put it up for sale and market the land in a way that benefits the community. She saw that someone would want to come and put something in that would need a lot of acreage but not take a lot of water. Grey did state that the water line goes up to the north corner of the property. “Let’s find somebody who wants to come in and help build it out. It seems like a win win. Hopefully then they’ll be paying taxes. You know that would be a great thing, right?”, she said, adding that Singh wants to put it up for sale and in the process work with the city to put it out there upfront as to what is needed in order to set the buyer up for success. Grey sees that there will be a lot of building in the next five years.

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The Franklin County Graphic (FCG) newspaper opened in 1954 under founding editor Dave Adams to fulfill the need for community news. Today, it continues as a locally owned and operated, weekly source of community news and information across Franklin County.