Despite the protest of a few residents, a zoning change has cleared the way for a Grab-A-Java coffee shop on Highway 210 and 10th Avenue Northeast in Brainerd.
The rezoning request was brought to the Brainerd City Council by Scott and Carla Stall, who own Grab-A-Java coffee shop on Jackson Street in northwest Brainerd. The Stalls sought to have the property rezoned from residential to commercial.
Some residents attended a public hearing on the rezoning request Monday in front of the city council. Of the four who offered comments during the meeting, all opposed the rezone.
Laura Larson, whose property borders the proposed site of Grab-A-Java on 10th Avenue Northeast, had concerns about removal of trees, traffic and putting in a business among neighbors who have lived there for decades.
"We like it the way it is," Larson said.
Ninth Avenue resident Steve Hoffmann said though he wasn't against commercial development in northeast Brainerd, he believed there should be separation between businesses. Tenth Avenue Northeast resident Jeff Snook questioned why another coffee shop was needed when there were other businesses, including gas stations, that served coffee nearby.
Carla Stall said she and her husband understood residents concerns and appreciated their passion for protecting their property. She said their business would be a mom and pop store, unobtrusive to the neighborhood's aesthetics and an enhancement to the Highway 210 corridor. Scott Stall said traffic increases would be minimal.
"We're not looking to invade the neighborhood but be part of it," Carla Stall said.
Though the Planning Commission unanimously denied the Stall's rezoning request, the council approved it on 5-2 vote, the minimum amount of votes needed to adopt a rezoning ordinance.
Voting against the rezoning were council members Bonnie Cumberland and Bob Olson. Cumberland said, though she had nothing against the Stalls or the coffee shop, she believed the timing of it was wrong because land use goals weren't being met. Olson said was opposed because it was the wishes of the residents and the Planning Commission.
MATT ERICKSON may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5857.
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