McCOOK, Nebraska -- The Board of Zoning Adjustment denied a variance request from Hillcrest Nursing Home, Monday evening, during their regular meeting at Memorial Auditorium. The board voted 3-1 to deny setback and lot development variances, with Duanne Tappe the lone vote in favor of the request.
Peggy Rogers Executive Director of the nursing home, spoke on behalf of the project, explaining the setback variance was necessary to construct a 948 square foot chapel on the northwest corner of their building.
The chapel would exceed the 25 foot setback requirement and bring the building to within approximately five feet of the sidewalk.
Rogers also argued that their building only occupied 38 percent of the lot currently and was not in violation of lot developmental limitations.
City Manager Kurt Fritsch told Rogers he didn't see the 38 percent, saying the nursing home appeared to exceed 60 percent of the lot.
Fritsch went on to say that an issue wouldn't be made of the lot percentage, but that the information only enforced the stance that the nursing home had plenty of other room to build the chapel within setback requirements.
City staff recommended denial of the request prior to the meeting, stating the hardship was not a result of lot configuration or associated with developmental limitations, but rather how the owners wanted to configure the layout.
The group discussed other locations for the chapel within the layout, including a suggestion to build it on the landscaped courtyard to the west or within one of the internal courtyards.
Rogers explained that window access was necessary for the residences adjacent to the internal courtyards and that losing resident rooms was not an option.
She also said the view looking out onto the landscaped courtyard was very popular and offered explanations why other locations would not work as well, including cost limitations and other locations being too far to walk to.
Hillcrest will have 15 days to appeal the denial in Red Willow County District Court or they may choose to resubmit the variance with substantial changes.
Rogers said after the ruling that the nursing home would explore other options for the chapel on their lot.