SUNRISE BEACH, Mo. — A long-term city plan stands in the way of a near-term plan by a local business owner to expand his operations. Last week, the Sunrise Beach Board of Trustees unanimously voted no to a request by Jason Todd, owner of Heartland Marine, to rezone his Sunrise Beach property from Commercial 1 to Commercial 2. The subject property is located in the old downtown section of the village, at 16238 Highway 5.
The Sunrise Beach Planning and Zoning Commission voted three to one in April to recommend denial of the request. Multiple neighboring businesses and citizens voiced opposition to the rezone at public hearings on the request, due to concerns the Commercial-2 uses would cause noise and traffic nuisances and the property would be an eyesore, filled with old boats.
Linda Krehbiel spoke for the rezone at the public hearing stating she did not see why the city would be opposed to adding a successful business, that would bring people and revenue into the village.
“I think his property on TT looks like a salvage yard,” Trustee Debbie Stoller replied, referencing Todd’s other business on Route TT, located out of the city proper. Sunrise Beach Attorney Greg Williams also pointed out, “The zoning change would not be consistent with the comprehensive master plan and vision for the city.” The trustees agreed there was nothing in the zoning change that would benefit the city.
Todd’s plans for the former warehouse/sales business property, if the zoning would have been approved, were to temporarily use the location to house a portion of his growing Heartland Marine boat business, currently located on Route TT.
Todd recently purchased 30 acres on Highway 5 in Laurie (across from Shoreline Realty) on which he plans to move most of his boat inventory, after the property is developed. Due to increased business, he has outgrown the Route TT property. Todd said he would eventually like to lease the downtown Sunrise Beach property out, and the C-2 zoning would increase the types of businesses he could lease to.
Todd stated that he was under the impression when he purchased the property that it was zoned Industrial. But the city says it was actually C-2 previously but, per city code, the property forfeited its C-2 zoning, because it had been closed for more than one year.
City planners zoned the area in question as old downtown. “They wiped out a big section of Sunrise Beach by doing zoning this way,” Todd contended in a telephone interview. “There are 10 businesses in the immediate area and I planned to conduct a retail boat sales business on the property. I would have kept it neat and clean. There is not much you can do under a C-1 zoning, at least nothing with any kind of volume or growth potential.”