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Veterinarian gets variances

City alters requirements to allow Bainbridge to expand

The Morris City Council approved variances to allow for some expansion and remodeling at the Morris Veterinary Hospital.

Dr. David Bainbridge is constructing a 30-by-50 foot addition to the back of his veterinary hospital at 608 Bedford Road.

"It's for a surgical room, storage and a larger area for hospitalizations and to treat wildlife," said Bainbridge to the council.

The building has been there for many years and, therefore, the lot is smaller than what is required now for commercial businesses.

The council approved two variances for the project. One was for a 20-foot setback rather than the now-required 40 foot. And the other was a material variance.

Building and Zoning Officer Bill Cheshareck said the existing building is metal and the updated city code now requires additions to be masonry, but since the addition is in the back of the building and will not be seen from the street, Bainbridge requested to use the same materials as the original building.

As a compromise, he also will improve the front of the building with some masonry. On the three sides of the building visible to the street, he is going to use a stackable block that is the width of a brick and the height of three bricks. A ledge will be added and the blocks would go from the bottom of the windows and ledge down to the ground.

In other business, Alderman Julian Houston announced the old Lincoln Nursing Home has been torn down and is no longer an eyesore. He also told the council he attended the Saturday dedication of the Grundy-Three Rivers Habitat for Humanity home on the old papermill property.

"They're a nice family moving in and it's a very nice house," he said. "I think it's going to add to the east side."

Mayor Richard Kopczick took some time to clarify a recent Letter to the Editor in the Morris Daily Herald in which the letter writer stated false things about this project.

"The city did not give this property away. It was purchased. No taxes have been waived. They are paying property taxes, paying water bills and paying for garbage just like everyone else in this community," said Kopczick.

The city of Morris purchased five acres of the paperboard property from Grundy County in April 2009. It is in agreement with Habitat for Humanity to sell the lots to the organization as Habitat has funding available. A five-house subdivision will be built there.

Habitat for Humanity has purchased one of the five lots so far. It will purchase the next lot after the next family is chosen.

Habitat for Humanity works with low-income families to build homes and provide no-interest mortgages. As part of the deal, the families perform labor on their own homes and help with the construction of other homes.

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