By SEAN RICE
Outgoing Mayor Paul Arnold has vetoed an ordinance recently
passed by city council that creates a light manufacturing district
(M-2) in the zoning code.
Using his veto power for the first time, Arnold rejected a law
that has greatest effect on the Celina Industrial Park, located
off Havemann and Grand Lake roads. The change from a manufacturing
zone (M-1) to M-2 allows for a mix of commercial and industrial
businesses, as already exists at the Celina Industrial Park.
The new M-2 zone also applies to the former Mersman Furniture
Co. property, the former Visions property along U.S. 127 and
the Mercer Landmark property on Market Street.
Efforts to change the zoning code were brought about by a landowner
in the Celina Industrial Park with plans to sell a parcel to
allow a used car dealership to open.
Some landowners commented against the change as the measure
worked its way through Celina Planning Commission and city council
meetings. Arnold commented vehemently against the idea before
it came to city council.
“I believe the change in zoning of the Havemann Road industrial
park has merit, but I am adamantly against the inclusion of
automotive sales and public recreation as conditional uses,”
Arnold wrote in a letter to city council President Bill Sell.
“This designation would be a perfect fit for such properties
as the Star warehouse and the former Mersman building.”
Arnold states that he voiced his disapproval of the zoning board
of appeals granting a variance allowing a beauty salon to open
in the Celina Industrial Park, giving the park its first pure
“Another valid reason is the fact that current occupants
of the park were sold lots under the assumption they were buying
land in an industrial park and not a commercial park,”
Arnold wrote in the letter, supplied to The Daily Standard.
“The rights of these occupants must be upheld just as
surely as those in a residential district who don’t want
a factory to move in next door.”
When contacted this morning, council member Ron Hammons said
the mayor has his right to be against the measure, but he should
have voiced it early.
“He is part of the planning commission, and his vote for
it is one of the reasons it got to council,” Hammons said.
“It takes six votes to override the veto, and right now
I think I have five commitments,” Hammons continued. “And
I hope to have that sixth vote before the year’s end.”
Incoming Mayor Sharon LaRue said it is the mayor’s “prerogative”
to issue a veto and declined further comment. Council member
Collin Bryan also turned down a chance to comment.
Arnold points out the three points of action the council can
take: override the veto, allow it to stand or present a new
ordinance with changes.