By Debby Woodin
Globe Staff Writer
JOPLIN, Mo. —
A request for a change in zoning at 20th Street and Rex Avenue for a new gated, luxury apartment development that has been contested by a neighboring property owner will be heard today by the Joplin City Council.
The developer of Joplin Plaza II, which is owned by Red-Wood Development, is asking to change the zoning at the northeast corner of the intersection from heavy industrial to R-4 residential zoning that permits multifamily apartment and town-house development.
Developer Rick Schroeder told the Joplin Planning and Zoning Commission last month that his proposal is to build what he considers to be the most luxurious town-house-type apartments in the city.
The buildings would have the exterior look of one big house but would contain eight apartments, each with garage parking, for a total of 72 apartments in what would be called the “Villas at the Plaza.” There would be one-, two- and three-bedroom units with upscale finishes, such as granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. There also will be a community building with a pool and a cabana to accommodate cookouts and gatherings.
They would adjoin property where the Plaza Apartments are.
The request was opposed by Nylen Lee Allphin, of Stark City, who owns property to the east. Allphin told the zoning and planning commission that the land is zoned industrial and that he intends to rebuild an office and a cellphone tower that were destroyed by the 2011 tornado. He contended that 20th Street should be maintained as a commercial corridor. He is concerned about the value of his property declining if industrial zoning in the area changes, though he said the current Plaza Apartments are a well-maintained development.
The planning and zoning commission voted to recommend that Schroeder’s rezoning request be granted by the council.
A public hearing on the question will be held at the council meeting.
Public hearings also are scheduled on requests by the operators of the Casey’s Convenience Store at 32nd Street and Schifferdecker Avenue for the store and its adjoining right of way to be annexed into the city limits.
The council also will hear the following requests:
• To approve the addition of an accounting specialist position to the finance department to work on the city’s billing for sewer and trash services. The city assumed the billing, which was formerly done by the Missouri-American Water Co., on Jan. 1.
• Enact an ordinance that will amend the police and firemen’s pension fund to incorporate changes in the pension rules to comply with the federal Heroes Assistance and Relief Tax Act, which allows those who serve in the military to continue their pension contributions and eligibility when they return from service.
• Authorize more job classification changes under a new city job classification plan.
The council also has posted a notice to hold a closed meeting after the regular session related to legal action or litigation.
Time and place
The Joplin City Council meets at 6 p.m. today at City Hall, 602 S. Main St.