CLEWISTON -- If there were any worries a proposed rezoning of two Clewiston properties in a residential area would run into any snags, they were completely dissolved during the Clewiston City Commissions regular meeting Aug. 16, 2021.
Commissioners held the final reading of a proposed ordinance to rezone 319 and 323 W. Trinidad Ave. from two-family residential use to commercial use. One of the lots is apparently already zoned for commercial use.
Florida Community Health Centers, Inc., (FCHC) requested the rezoning to build a parking lot to handle the growing number of clientele to the facility as well as plan for future growth.
During theCommission’s July 19 meeting, area resident Laura Smith spoke of concerns she had about the proximity of the proposed parking lot to one of her residential rental properties adjacent to the site.
She told commissioners she had asked the Planning & Zoning Board about providing a natural buffer between the proposed parking lot and the residential area and to limit entry and exits from the lot to curb any potential disruption to residents there and said she planned to pursue those efforts as the project progressed.
Smith appeared at Monday’s meeting as well, saying she had done some research on her own and felt that if proper buffering were in place and traffic flow around the residential area was to its benefit, there was no reason not to grant the zoning request.
“I’ve been advised I can be involved with some of the design of the parking lot to avoid any kind of obstruction to my two tenants who are in that property which is a two-family lot directly across from the proposed parking,” she said.
Smith said at first she didn’t understand the need for the extra parking, but after driving by the site a few times over the past week she realized with planning everyone could get what they want.
“I think with good traffic flow we will come up with a plan that suits everybody,” she said, adding that she’s hopeful some nearby oak trees nearby can be transplanted as part of the landscape buffer.
“I’ve been out there,” Commissioner Mali Gardner said. “When I saw those oak trees I was like, ‘I hate to see them chopped down,’ so I’m hoping with a plan there’s some saving of the trees.”
Commissioners approved the ordinance for the rezoning in a 5-0 vote.