Update 7/14/16 – The first reading for the rezoning of the plot of land east of the Sgt. Floyd Monument was unanimously approved July 11 by the Sioux City Council. Councilman Dan Moore abstained from the vote. A second and third reading will take place at future council meetings, according to the source.
The new design was called “encouraging” by Groetken, who said in June that he wouldn’t support the rezoning based on feedback from historical groups. If that changed, he would support the project as well, the source reported.
Bob Coacher, chairman of the Historic Preservation Commission, called the development good for the area, but said he still had concerns that the property would be maintained in the future. "If we can put some of that assurance in place, we can definitely support this,” he said.
The area’s drainage issues are still a concern for Mayor Bob Scott, who said he wouldn’t vote to approve the rezoning at future readings unless the issue could be resolved. Efforts to improve drainage on the property are currently underway, Fenton said.
6/30/16 – The Sioux City Council on Monday voted to delay its vote on property owner Casey Fenton’s rezoning request. The deferral will give officials two weeks to assess drainage on the property and how it might affect the proposed development, according to the source.
Fenton said during the hearing that he wants to work with local historical societies on an agreeable facility design and will honor the city requirement to plant trees on the property to exceed the height of the storage units. "I'm not trying to change the integrity of the area," he told the council. "What we intend to do is to make it look nicer than what it did when I first purchased the property."
Council member Pete Groetken and three residents spoke in opposition to the project during the hearing, arguing the area surrounding the monument needs to be preserved for visitors.
The council is scheduled to discuss the issue again during its next meeting on July 11.
6/24/16 – A zoning change in Sioux City, Iowa, could allow a self-storage facility to be built near the Sergeant Floyd Monument, which honors Sgt. Charles Floyd Jr., a member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition who died on the journey. The proposed development is for a 136,481-square-foot parcel of land at 2627 ½ S. Rustin St. and 2819 Lincoln Way, which is currently zoned residential, according to the source.
The owner had requested that the land, which is east of the monument and across South Lewis Boulevard, be zoned industrial. Last week, the city’s planning and zoning commission instead voted to change the property’s zoning to general commercial to prevent it from being used for industrial purposes.
The Sioux City Council will hold a public hearing on June 27 to discuss the zoning change and is expected to vote on the request.
Representatives from the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office and National Parks Service expressed concern about the proposed rezoning prior to the planning meeting. They argued an industrial zoning use would leave the area open to future projects that could adversely affect the monument's atmosphere and viewing area, the source reported.
"If the adjacent area is rezoned to general industrial, subsequent development would negatively affect the historic integrity of the Sergeant Floyd Monument," Donald Stevens Jr., chief of the National Register of Historic Places, said in a letter requesting retention of the current zoning status.
The city also received letters from the Lewis and Clark Historical Trail Office and the State Historic Preservation Office expressing similar viewpoints. “Their comments boil down to the full breadth of uses that could be allowed within a general industrial zone, like smokestacks,” said Chris Madsen, senior planner for the city. “Maybe that 20 years down the road, this development goes away and a new one comes in that could have an impact.”
Jim Jung, who chairs the Sioux City Historic Preservation Commission, suggested oversight of the project would be important if the area is zoned commercial. "Proper screening is the key. I don't think [my position] is so much 'no' to the storage units, but it's for sure not for industrial. Commercial would need to have oversight,” he said.
Erected in 1901, the Sergeant Floyd Monument is a 100-foot obelisk structure within a 23-acre park that offers views of the Missouri River Valley. The monument was named the nation's first National Historic Landmark.
- Sioux City Journal: Rezoning Near Sgt. Floyd Monument Passes 1st Reading
- Sioux City Journal: Council Tables Zoning Recommendation for Floyd Monument
- Sioux City Journal: Council to Take up Potential Rezoning Near Sergeant Floyd Monument