Council backs zoning, personnel changes
Henderson City Council members on Monday night unanimously backed the rezoning of two properties at the intersection of Parham Street and Burwell Avenue after evenly divided input from several residents of the area.
The council also endorsed changes to city personnel policy aimed at reducing overtime and compensatory time, commonly called comp-time, accruals as much as possible.
Frances Finamore’s plan to begin in-home mental health counseling at 710 Parham Street was the subject of a public hearing. Debate centered on unacceptable traffic problems.
Several neighbors repeated to council members what they had told city planners earlier this month.
Ken Roll and Phil Hanny said there would be no problem because of Finamore’s plan to conduct hour-long visits by clients up to five times a day, on three designated days of the week. Only one client would be present at any one time, equaling no actual traffic problem at all.
Rosa Griffin and Norma Walker said their homes on the dead-ending Burwell Avenue would be impacted because the turn from Burwell is already difficult to make. They asked once one home business starts, how many others are likely to follow?
“I live on the bottom of a dead end,” Griffin said. “That is a congested area, very congested. I do have a problem with her opening up a business there.”
“I don’t think it’s fair for her to have this in a residential house,” Walters said. “She should do this at an office elsewhere.”
Roll and Hanny said the mental health counseling would be a benefit and a credit to the neighborhood, serving a number of military veterans who need Finamore’s counseling as they cope with medical and other life challenges.
Finamore, when asked about the situation by Councilman Michael Rainey, said that out of the 15 maximum clients she would counsel in a week, most would be dropped off by KARTS vans.
“They would be delivered to Parham Street,” she said, “and would not even go on Burwell Avenue.”
The specific rezoning changed Finamore’s property and 525 Burwell Avenue to a high-density residential designation from low-density. The request comes from planning office staff as a matter of administrative correction.
Planning Director Erris Dunston said the two low-density designation properties were an anomaly in the midst of the already high-density properties around them.
Home businesses are allowed for high-density residential zoned properties, but not for low-density properties, according to Dunston.
Council members in their discussion pointed out that means the home businesses are already allowed for the surrounding properties. Any home business, including Finamore’s, have the additional step of obtaining a special use permit from the Henderson Zoning Board of Adjustments.
The council voted 8-0 in favor of the rezoning request.
New city personnel policy changes for scaling back on overtime and compensatory time follow on the heels of restrictions to part-time and temporary employee hours. The council agreed 8-0 to the changes and to place the implementation burden on department directors for managing the scheduling of hourly employees more efficiently.
Overtime and compensatory time would be authorized in emergency situations. Otherwise, time off would be scheduled into the workweek on an hour-for-hour basis to scheduled work times that run over on a non-emergency day.
City employees who are not exempt from hourly rules were previously allowed to accrue up to 480 hours of compensatory time. They cannot accrue more than 40 such hours without the expressed written permission of the city manager under the new rules.
The upper limit is never to exceed 100 hours except for hours accrued during a city emergency.
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