Chelsea City Council votes to rezone lots for new police station
Chelsea City Council members voted to rezone two city lots to facilitate the construction of a new police station at their regular meeting Tuesday.
One of the lots is on the northeast corner of East Summit and Main streets and zoned O-1 (for office use. The other is located east of the City Hall parking lot on Orchard Street, and zoned RS-3 (for two-family residential use). They have been combined into a larger parcel where the new police station is to be built beginning in 2011.
Council member Rod Anderson was the only member to vote against the rezoning, citing the Planning Commission’s March 4-3 vote against rezoning the parcel to a C-5 commercial designation.
Council member Ann Feeney said one of the members who had planned to vote in favor of rezoning was absent at that Planning Commission meeting.
“And one seat was vacant,” said Mayor Jason Lindauer, after the meeting.
“I think the key problem is that it is not a business district, and currently we are going to turn it into a business district,” said Anderson. “This is not a property that seems to suit that purpose.”
Council member Cheri Albertson countered by referring to the future land use maps from the 2008 Master Plan.
“This particular location has always been called out as part of the central business district,” she said. “So there’s nothing inconsistent with our rezoning.”
The Planning Commission has recommended against rezoning .I couldn’t support a zoning change," he said.
During the public comment period of the meting, Warren McArthur said it troubles him that the City Council would rezone the property against the recommendation of the Planning Commission.
He pointed to a petition citizens submitted last year asking that the station idea be put to a vote and said the city rejected those petitions. “People are mad that the police station was allowed to deteriorate to this state.” City Manager John Hanifan noted that Planning and Zoning Administrator James Drolett had determined that that using the property for a police station was consistent with the city's master plan.