A zoning change that would allow a hair salon to move into the historic Hyland home on Brainerd's northside is still on track.
However, in an attempt to find a compromise between north Brainerd residents opposed to a business being located in the Hyland home and the owner of the salon the rezoning of the property will take a different route than recommended by the Brainerd Planning Committee.
The Brainerd City Council Monday unanimously approved the first reading to rezone the Hyland home property from R2, or urban residential, to B1, which is professional service, with direction to city staffers and the Brainerd Planning Commission to develop an amendment to the B1 zone to allow a for a conditional use permit for limited Business within a Historic Building. The CUP would be attached to the Historic Building instead of the land.
The rezoning from residential to business was requested by the current Hyland home owners, Mike and Deb Hyland, who are in the process of selling the house to Kathy Bjork, who is interested in moving her business, Fine Line Salon and Spa, to the Hyland home. A purchase agreement for the home was made between Bjork and the Hylands, contingent upon the zoning change. Bjork's salon currently is located about a block away fro the Hyland home.
The Planning Commissions had recommended rezoning the property from R2 to B2, which is a neighborhood business district, but the council denied that request on Brainerd City Attorney Tom Fitzpatrick's recommendation to amend the ordinances to allow B1 zoned property in historic sites.
Because it is on the historic register and under the proposed ordinance amendment the planning commission will look at, Bjork would have to maintain the outside facade of the Hyland home for her salon to be permitted in the house. If Bjork sold the house, similar businesses would be allowed as long as the historic status of the house is maintained.
A B2 zone, or neighborhood business district, allows for retail establishments such as hardware, drug or furniture stores and restaurants. A B1 zone allows for doctors offices, lawyers offices or hair salons.
Several people on both sides of the issue attended Monday's meeting.
Dan Wileman, a North Fourth Street resident, said northside residents are concerned with businesses coming into their neighborhoods.
"Many are not in favor of it even if it's (zoned) B1," said Wileman. "No one wants to live in a house that's a stones throw away from a business."
Carla Staffon, a Bluff Avenue resident, was concerned about losing more north Brainerd homes to businesses, pointing to houses removed for parking lots at St. Francis Catholic Church and St. Joseph's Medical Center, and the possibility of more homes being lost to a parking lot expansion for the Lakes Area Senior Activity Center.
"I don't know how much neighborhood we're going to have left in 10 years," said Staffon.
Juniper Street resident Susan Beck said her concern is with increased traffic and parking the salon would bring, and she feared the empty lot next to the Hyland home could be turned into a parking lot.
Brainerd Mayor James Wallin, a Kingwood Street resident, said he would rather have a business in the Hyland home than apartments, especially because created by the business would end at 5 p.m., when the salon closed.
"I think her business in there would be a nice addition and I think we can keep the beauty of that building in take," said Wallin, who lives across the street from the Hyland house. "The business she is running would be an excellent neighbor and I would be happy to have her right across the road."
Brainerd City Council member Bob Olson said he, too, would hate to see the house go back to being apartments and he thinks the business would be a plus for the north Brainerd neighborhood. Olson also lives in north Brainerd.
Dr. Roland Kehr, who has a dentist office on Kingwood, said he also is in favor of Bjork relocating her salon to the Hyland home.
"I'm pleased as punch with what her and her people have done in the old house (where the beauty salon is located), and I'm anxious to see what she would do in the new location," said Kehr.
The city council's denial of the B2 zone in favor of a B1 zone was also brought in to question by one resident.
"Who's making the request that it go back to the planning commission? Why would the council get involved at this point?" said Juniper Street resident Carter Kuehn after the city council denied the B2 request. "If it's denied, why don't you let someone else make an application for a future zoning change."
Added Kuehn: "I'm real troubled by the fact that the city would pick up the ball here," without the applicant making the request for the rezoning of the property to B1.
"Why?" asked council member Mark O'Day. "It's our job."
The classic Revival home was commissioned in the early 1900s by Dr. Werner Hemstead, who was Brainerd's mayor in the late 1800s. Later the home was divided into six apartments. The Hylands purchased the home in 1991 and restored it to its original grandeur in a single-family setting.
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