The city has issued the VA a building permit for its rehabilitation of the former Cook Jeep dealership at 10th and Main for a drop-in clinic to replace smaller quarters at 2nd and Ringo.
The permit was issued after City Attorney Tom Carpenter issued an opinion that the VA does not have to comply with UU (urban use) zoning requirements. It would have had to comply had the amount of the rehab stated in the permit — $398,056 — been more than 50 percent of the building's replacement value.
In deciding it did not, Carpenter had to tackle what is the replacement value versus appraised value. The appraised value of the building is $750,000. The VA argued, successfully, that the replacement value ranges between $850,000 to $1.26 million, and said it plans to spend $300,000, not the amount stated in the permit.
Carpenter's opinion is here.
The City Board will consider an ordinance tonight to amend its zoning regulations to remove certain "uses by right," an ordinance that was believed to have been drafted to prevent the VA clinic from opening. However, Mayor Mark Stodola said last week that he does not believe the ordinance will apply to the clinic because a business, Brain Injury of Arkansas, has already opened in the building, thus grandfathering its zoning in.
Looks like the VA Drop-in clinic has made it.