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The Fremont City Council will hold its second reading of an ordinance to consider a rezone of a parcel of land within the proposed SunRidge Place housing development on the east side of Fremont at its meeting on Tuesday.

During its meeting on February 27, the Fremont City Council voted to introduce and hold the first reading of the ordinance that would shift the zoning of the approximately 4.8 acres of land, located near the corner of E. Military Avenue and Luther Road, from RR Rural Residential to GC General Commercial.

At that meeting the ordinance was introduced and a first reading was held following a 5-3 vote from the Council. Councilmembers Linda McClain, Susan Jacobus, and Matt Bechtel voted no.

While the ordinance was introduced in February, a second and third vote and reading will be needed for the ordinance to be passed. It would be implemented 15 days after the passage.

SunRidge Place is a proposed multi-use development of Don Peterson & Associates, which has plans for approximately 240 units of apartments, 75 townhomes, 46 duplexes and 112 single family homes.

Along with residential housing, the proposed development is also planned to include commercial space.

During the public hearing on the matter in February several members of the public raised concerns over the proposed zoning shift, citing concerns of potential student safety issues, especially due to the potential for increased traffic in the area.

“We are in a unique position where we can control the development around our middle school (Fremont Middle School), and the main issues about the commercial property would be the added traffic. Single family homes, duplexes, and residential apartments do not pose the same safety risks a convenience store or any other commercial property will,” local resident Mark Jensen said at the time. “Anyone who has been out there to drop off or pick up children understands the dangers of the traffic and congestion in the area, and these safety issues would only increase with the addition of a commercial property.”

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Dave Mitchell of Yost Law Firm, who spoke on behalf of Don Peterson & Associates at the meeting, addressed the concerns about traffic brought forth by members of the public.

He noted that the proposed zoning ordinance is just the first step in the use planning for the property, and that many steps – including a traffic and drainage study – would have to take place before any development begins on the property.

“As far as traffic concerns, the school has in fact weighed in on this issue and there is no evidence to indicate that one business or one retail area is going to adversely impact that entire corridor,” Mitchell added. “The traffic intensity in that area takes place in the mornings and again in the afternoons and subsides dramatically just as it does in all other areas of our community where we have schools, special events, and church gatherings from time to time.”

The proposed ordinance came to the City Council after the Fremont Planning Commission recommended approval of the zoning chance, by a 7-1 vote, at its regularly scheduled meeting on February 19.

A full agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting can be found by visiting https://www.fremontne.gov/agendacenter.

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