A8 WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 16, 1996 SAUNA PLANNING COMMISSION THE SALINA JOURNAL Rezoning sought on Schilling Owner of moving firm wants to clear way for restaurants, gas stations By CHRIS KOGER The Salina Journal The city continues to march southward, and there's a list of people wanting to be a part of that march. One of those, Norman Riffel, is asking the city to annex more than 17 acres just south of Schilling Road, on the west side of Ninth Street. Riffel will ask the Salina Planning Commission for the annexation, which is part of his plan to sell the land, divided into 12 lots, for commercial development. The meeting is to be at 4 p.m. in Room 107 of the City-County Building. Riffel, Springfield, Neb., owns Riffel Moving Services that is located on the property. He plans to move the existing storage and office buildings once the 12 lots start selling. The land is just off the Schilling Road interchange of Interstate 135, and Riffel and city administrators see it as ripe for development for restaurants, convenience stores, gas stations and other retail businesses that would bring motorists off the interstate. "I think we're in an excellent location for traffic off 1-135, and there seems to be a lot of growth there," Riffel said. "A couple of retail merchants have talked about space there, so there are other things than hotels and restaurants that are possibilities." Roy Dudark, director of planning and community development, is recommending, the zoning board approve Riffel's request for a zoning change to PC-7, planned highway commercial. The board also will consider annexing the property and approving a preliminary plat, which shows how the land would be divided into lots and where a detention pond would go. "This is a commercial development, for highway-oriented businesses. It's tourism- and highway traveler-oriented," Dudark said. "That's what our (comprehensive) plan says we should use the properties at our interchanges for. Actually, the.moving and storage warehouse doesn't need to be there. He will leave it for the time being, but at some point there are plans to remove those if somebody wants to buy the lots it sits on. I predict that will happen." Building may move The preliminary plat calls for the storage building to be removed to make room for Riffel Drive, which will begin at Schilling Road and loop back to Ninth Street. The frontage road that skirts the property will be closed and a new entrance for Riffel Drive and Ninth Street will be built. "Anything we've got there now can be removed, and I'm willing to do that if there's anyone quite interested in buying that lot," Riffel said. Development on South Ninth has boomed in the past 10 years, stretching the city limits southward. When Riffel bought the land in 1988, Wal-Mart, Target and Sam's Club discount stores, as well as housing subdivisions along Schilling Road, were nonexistent. "It was just farmland then, and Schilling was a two-lane. There was nothing around me, even to the north," Riffel said. "I was in the country." Others keep eye on move If Riffel's plan is accepted by the city zoning board and city commission, landowners to the south are sure to take notice. Darrell Hills, who owns the Mid-State Mall, has the 18 acres of land directly south of Riffel's property and has plans to develop it in the future. "I anticipate ultimately asking for annexation and rezoning similar to what Mr. Riffel is doing," said Hills, who plans to move a farm house on the 18-acre tract. "I have two out-of-state firms currently looking at the property," said Hills, who expects to bring a plan before the zoning board within a year. "I'm pretty sensitive with what I'll put in there," Hills said. "That will be the first thing people coming in from the south will see. I'm not going to permit anything that is an eyesore." Hills said he has spoken to city staffers about the plans, and they agree on his proposed use. Dudark, however, said access issues — the frontage road on Riffel's property is the only way in and out of Hills' property — concern him. "That's a major impediment for transportation, only one way out," Dudark said. Area development uncertain The city and county commissions have struggled with land- use questions south of Schilling Road. Although the comprehensive plan calls for light industrial development south of Riffel's property, West McArthur of Long- McArthur Ford and Rex Russell have proposed putting a car lot DRESSES & SKIRTS When you take an extra 25% OFF Our Everyday Low Prices! JUNIOR & MISSES CAREER & CASUAL Pictured style is representative and may not be available at all stores. Offer excludes clearance items. and construction equipment business on land on Water Well Road. The county's zoning board asked the men to provide a more detailed site plan when they proposed the development in January; McArthur and Russell have not reapplied. At the same time, the city endorsed a resolution opposing the proposal. "The question is, where do we stop the commercial march?" Dudark said. "We think (South Ninth Street) is a good location for new companies that want fairly nice surroundings, and that we ought to set aside these areas for light industrial." Hills said city approval of the Riffel development would "enhance" his plans and the probability they would be approved. Dudark, however, said that approving the Riffel development would not give a green light to Hills' or McArthur's plans. "We don't think that this corner, which is right at the interchange, necessarily casts the die for everything else," he said. "It stands on its own. It is accessible to the highway, the road is four lanes on both sides, there is an adequate (traffic) signal in place, it is touching the city limits and the plan is that all four corners (at Ninth Street and Schilling Road) will be commercial." The comprehensive plan does call for light industrial in that area, but each request for zoning is decided on a case-by-case basis, said Dean Andrew, assistant director of planning. "That doesn't mean somebody couldn't come in here with a specific proposal and the plan could be amended," Andrew said. County Planning Director David Gurss said tractor-trailers and other large vehicles use South Ninth Street. "There are concerns about mixing truck and car traffic," Gurss said. Gurss said McArthur and Russell will have until January to submit a planned unit development site plan to the county's zoning board for approval. Hough Piano & Organ /lev' fine NO STRINGS ATTACHED See our new Roland Digital Piano Layaway for Christmas 128 s. 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