Hormel expansion moving forward

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Residents filled council chambers at Monday night's Austin City Council meeting to express safety concerns regarding a planned extension to the Hormel Corporation's Research and Development facilities.

But the controversy over the rezoning of a portion of property owned by Hormel was solved before any concerns could be expressed.

Rezoning from an R-1 (single-family residential) district to an R-O (Residential-Office) district is the first step toward expanding the corporation's existing Research and Development facilities. Residents of the area were worried about problems stemming from an increase in traffic on Third Fourth streets NE.

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A request by Hormel to the city to eliminate a public right-of-way on the edge of their property will allow the them to expand an existing road inside the facility, solving the traffic problem. Instead of using a new parking lot entrance, traffic will continue to flow through the main gates.

Hormel will be responsible for all costs related to the adjustment.

Second Ward council member Pete Christopherson spoke to Jim Mino, who also had represented Hormel at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, before casting his vote of approval.

"Mr. Mino, thank you for being a good neighbor and listening to what these good people had to say at the last meeting," he said.

The crowd applauded the statement as well as the final vote.

Next, Hormel will have to get a conditional-use permit to continue plans for the expansion.

Matt Merritt can be reached at 434-2214 or by email at matt.merritt@austindailyherald.com