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By LeAnn R. Ralph
COLFAX — Following a public hearing, the Colfax Plan Commission has recommended a rezone from Business-2 to Residential-5 for a lot at 1009 University Avenue to accommodate two four-plexes.
The project will include two buildings with four apartments each — two three-bedroom apartments and two two-bedroom apartments — on a slab, with garage space for each apartment and additional parking outside, said Nick Semling of Countrified Investments, the developer of the proposed project, at a meeting of the Colfax Plan Commission March 29.
Nearby property owners were notified of the public hearing for the rezone request, but no one had contacted the office either for or against, said Lynn Niggemann, village administrator-clerk-treasurer.
The proposed project meets the criteria for setbacks and for the Uniform Dwelling Code (UDC), she said
Niggemann said the only calls she had received about the project were from people who want to rent the apartments and are interested in two bedrooms and three bedrooms.
The four-plexes will be 60 feet wide by 80 feet long, Semling noted.
The driveway for the four-plexes will use an existing driveway on University Avenue/state Highway 40.
The plan commission’s recommendation for a rezone will be forwarded to the Colfax Village Board for consideration at the April 12 village board meeting. The village board will consider whether to approve a zoning ordinance so the R-5 zoning is in the village’s zoning code, Niggemann said.
Semling said he was “looking forward to moving on with the project” and that he planned to be turning in the paperwork soon for building permits.
If all goes according to plan and the weather cooperates, groundbreaking will take place by the end of April, and framing of the buildings will be complete by Memorial Day, he said.
The plan is to finish the four-plexes in August so they are available for rental September 1, Semling said.
Niggemann asked if Semling had any idea of the rent he would charge for the apartments.
Since the apartments are new construction, the two bedrooms will probably rent for around $1,000 and the three-bedroom apartments will be a little more, Semling said.
The Colfax Plan Commission unanimously approved a motion to recommend a rezone from Business-2 to Residential-5.
Voting in favor of the motion were Mike Buchner, Dave Hovre, Logan Michels and Jason Johnson.
Scott Gunnufson, village president and chair of the plan commission, was absent from the meeting, and in Gunnufson’s absence, Buchner was appointed by the plan commission to chair the meeting.
Area Nursing Home
The lot at 1009 University Avenue is directly west of the former location of Area Nursing Home/the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center.
Area Nursing Home, doing business as the Colfax Health and Rehabilitation Center, purchased the two lots west of the nursing home in the spring of 2009 with the idea of building an assisted living facility. There were also plans to build a new clinic east of the nursing home and to expand the nursing home into the clinic space on the west side of the nursing home.
Colfax Health and Rehab eventually abandoned those plans and built a new nursing home on the south side of Colfax in 2012.
The Colfax Village Board approved a certified survey map (CSM) in July of 2020 to divide the property into three lots: Lot 1 where the vacant nursing home is located on 3.56 acres; Lot 2, directly west of the old nursing home, covering 1.94 acres; and Lot 3, on the southwest corner of Lot 2, which has a house on the lot and covers .66 acres.
The auction to sell the former nursing home building, the empty lot to the west, and the lot with the house was held online by the Hansen Auction Group in June of 2020.
According to the Hansen website, a deed restriction is placed on the nursing home property that states “this property shall not be used for a nursing home, assisted living facility or geriatric services of any kind. These restrictions shall be deemed covenants running with the land and shall inure to the benefit and be enforceable by all parties thereto and their successors in interest.”
The empty lot and the lot containing the three-bedroom house carry the same deed restrictions, according to the auction website.
After the auction ended, the Hansen website indicated the former nursing home had received 127 bids with a high bid of $64,000, while the empty lot directly west had received 97 bids with a high bid of $14,250 and the lot with the three-bedroom house, described as having hardwood floors throughout and a two-car attached garage, received 91 bids with a high bid of $47,500.