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The Beatrice city council approved three ordinances this week to allow for new residential housing, a retirement facility and a salvage and parts operation in town.

During its meeting Monday night, the council approved two rezoning applications from single-family to multi-family residences. One is for the development of Covered Bridge Heights Seventh Addition, where the owners intend to build duplexes and triplexes west of Meadow Lane. The other the proposed Birchwood Estates Retirement Village, to be located north of Ninth and Dorsey streets.

Councilmember Ted Fairbanks said he was concerned if the council approved the rezoning of the retirement village, the lot could be used for something else.

Attorney James Nelson, who represents the owners selling the land for the project, said there are several restrictive-use conditions in the sale. Nelson said the land is for elderly housing, and cannot be used for subsidized housing or for commercial purposes.

After much discussion, the council also approved the location of a proposed salvage and parts operation.

Wayne and Christine Huls, owners of Huls Body Shop on South Sixth Street, were looking for a place to store cars before removing and possibly selling parts and disposing what’s left.

During a public hearing, Wayne Huls said he’s only heard positive feedback about the potential business. Similarly, Mayor Stan Wirth said letters were sent to neighboring landowners and tenants about the project, and the city received no objections.

Due to the land’s proximity to Mosaic and the Chief Standing Bear Trail, council members had several questions about how the operation would be concealed.

Huls said the operation is planned to sit roughly 100 feet away from the road, and have a 10-foot, solid metal fence around it. He also said the area has a hill and trees to help conceal it, and that they also plan to construct a building there.

City administrator Tobias Tempelmeyer said the Huls need to acquire a special use permit from the city’s planning and zoning commission before the project can move forward.

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