The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


March 28, 2014

Council makes right decision on Adcraft

Mistakes happen.

Trust me, I’ve made my share of them.

When they happen, you can either deny, deny, deny and learn nothing. Or sometimes, if you’re lucky, an opportunity presents itself to change course and make things right.

That’s what happened this week when Clinton City Council members changed their minds regarding local business Adcraft’s expansion. And the decision rested on details.

When the Clinton City Council first heard about the expansion, members balked, citing the business’ desire to build a steel building, which was not allowed under the current commercial zoning.

It appeared the facility’s owners, the Sullivan Group, had requested a zoning change in 2001 to move into the commercial zoning realm. Therefore, council members didn’t believe they should allow the Sullivan Group to build the steel building since the facility would not fit the look of downtown.

I understand that argument. Having a cohesive downtown is something to strive for and I believe the downtown is getting better each year.

But...Adcraft isn’t downtown. It’s on the cusp, but not in the centralized location of downtown.

And Adcraft didn’t ask for a zoning change. That was another developer, meaning Adcraft was stuck in a situation its owners didn’t want.

So, when City Council members realized Adcraft didn’t actually ask for a zoning change all those years ago and the community rallied around the company, city officials did the right thing to allow the company to move forward with the expansion.

Too often I see people make mistakes and keep making the same mistake, just because their pride won’t allow them to admit their own wrongs.

Zoning issues will continue to surface. Those are items that numerous cities deal with, and it won’t stop in Clinton. It’s important to enforce zoning regulations...within reason.

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With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

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