Plans for new hangars at Grimes Field approved


Area-based Krohn Aviation LLC on Monday moved a step closer to breaking ground on two new hangars at Grimes Field after the Urbana Planning Commission approved the site plan contingent on the company addressing utility concerns.

According to the site plan submitted to the city by Roger Krohn, the company is proposing to construct and lease out a 50-by-231 T-hangar and a 70-by-70 corporate hangar. Both hangars would be built next to one another just west of the airport’s current T-hangars. While the corporate hangar would be used solely by Krohn Aviation, the T-hangar’s 10 units would be leased out to pilots seeking space to store their aircraft at Grimes Field.

In order for Krohn to move forward with the project, the Planning Commission’s site plan approval states the final construction drawings must be stamped by a professional engineer and show the location and size of all water lines and mains, sewer lines and mains, and the location of all fire hydrants that will service the two hangars.

“It basically boils down to water and sanitary sewer, and how that would serve the hangars and then be able to serve future hangars going west,” Community Development Manager Doug Crabill said, adding the city is scheduled to meet with Krohn early next week to discuss utilities.

“You can bring (utilities) to yourself, but you also have to make them available to the next guy,” Director of Administration Kerry Brugger added.

Brugger, who also serves on the Planning Commission, stated Krohn has expressed an interest in possibly having a small restroom in one of the hangars.

If Krohn elects to adhere to the Planning Commission’s ruling by addressing the utilities to the hangars, he would still need City Council’s approval to rent the land at the city-owned airport.

Brugger said council could be presented with a land use agreement as early as its next meeting on Aug. 2. The agreement will lay out what the city will require in rent from Krohn for the use of the land. Krohn would then set his own rates for leasing out his privately-owned T-hangar.

“I look forward to having another T-hangar at the airport,” Mayor Bill Bean said.

Property in Urbana Commons PUD drawing interest

Zoning Officer Adam Moore informed the Planning Commission that Hplex Solutions Inc., Lewis Center, plans to submit, on behalf of an “undisclosed medical entity,” an application to rezone Subarea E of the Urbana Commons (Walmart) Final Development Plan from residential/open space to medical/office.

Subarea E is one of the undeveloped lots in the Urbana Commons Planned Unit Development (PUD), and it’s located in the northwest corner of the E. U.S. Route 36 and North Dugan Road intersection.

According to Crabill, Subarea E was given no official text and was simply labeled “residential/open space” when the final plan for the Urbana Commons PUD was laid out.

Given the interest expressed in rezoning Subarea E, the Planning Commission was informed by Moore that city staff has developed a first draft of the zoning text which has been sent to the applicant for their review and comment, and this is being done based on the PUD ordinance.

The ordinance mentions the PUD process is intended to be a negotiation process where the city works collaboratively with the applicant to develop and finalize a zoning text that is acceptable to both the applicant and the city, and that is not contrary to public interest or welfare.

As far as the zoning text is concerned, Crabill said, the biggest issue involves the change of use from residential/open space to medical/office.

The current rough draft of the proposed zoning text for Subarea E, which was presented to the Planning Commission for review and feedback, calls for the property in question to be zoned B-2 General Business District with offices being permitted as the principal use and the following uses not permitted: commercial recreation, retail business, personal services, drinking or eating establishments, gas stations, hotels or motels.

“It only promotes office,” Crabill said.

Additionally, the permitted uses on the property would include medical entities like hospitals, clinics and healthcare facilities.

Crabill reiterated to the Planning Commission that the city has yet to receive a formal application from Hplex on behalf of the party interested in the Subarea E property.

“Our goal is to basically get this (zoning) text moving in its infancy and just get this out there that this is being looked at,” he said.

Crabill added if and when an application is received, the interested party will be revealed. From there, public meetings and hearings would be held as the Planning Commission is required to review any changes to the Urbana Commons PUD Final Development Plan and submit a recommendation to council, which would then vote on whether or not to accept the changes.

If the zoning change is approved, the interested party would then need to seek site plan approval from the Planning Commission.

Medical entity interested in lot near Walmart

By Joshua Keeran

[email protected]

Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.

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