The Jasper Zoning Board approved nine zoning variances last night in their regular monthly meeting, which included public hearings.
The longest and most contentious one was for a special use exception to allow a medical clinic in an R-3 (residential) zone and a variance for off-street parking at 825 W. Thirteenth Street, where Ron Snyder is trying to convert an existing home into a medical office for one doctor.
The house and property borders Emily Streets on the west and 13th on the north, near Memorial Hospital.
Brad Eckerle with Brosmer Land Surveying presented the drawings to show what changes would be made – only with regards to parking to allow for patients to park off of the street on the property.
Michael Snyder, Ron’s son, has joined the Digestive Care Group of Evansville, which operates in conjunction with St. Mary’s Hospital and will be opening a satellite office in Jasper.
Ron Snyder told the Board that Memorial Hospital has been looking for a Gastroenterologist for years to open a practice in Jasper.
Several people spoke up against the proposed change stating that they were concerned about the additional traffic that the office would generate and the further degradation of property beautification by allowing parking on the property.
One citizen questioned the wisdom in allowing the exception by asking if the complete property could eventually be joined with a south bordering property and a new larger medical center be placed there.
The Board told the citizens that the exception would not change the zoning, and that any further attempts to do so would not be allowed.
Others questioned why the Doctor needed to purchase that house and convert it given the fact that open space exists at St. Thomas Medical Center.
The Board voted to approve the exception with one stipulation: that the medical center only be allowed to exist on the top floor, not the basement – so that no further expansion could be done, requiring more parking lot spaces. They also passed the variance for the 9 off-street parking places.
No other members of the public spoke on the remaining variances presented to the board.