City Council rezones land for Keystone senior facility

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

The New Prague City Council approved rezoning of four acres of land from commercial to residential, another step in the process toward building an 80-unit senior living apartment complex in the community.

The action, taken at the request of Keystone Communities, LLC, required the city to amend its comprehensive plan. The council approved the action on a 3-0 vote, with Mayor W.A. Bink Bender and Councilmember Kay Wilcox abstaining due to a conflict of interest.

Attorney Scott Riggs from the city's law firm of Kennedy & Graven explained Mayor Bender and Wilcox should not vote on or take part in the discussion since they are members of the board of directors of the State Bank of New Prague. The land in question is being sold by the bank to Keystone. New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich said the amendment was required as the four acres at the southeast intersection of First Street SE and 10th Avenue SE are zoned B-2 commercial, which doesn't allow for assisted living facilities. The amendment would allow the area to be changed to RH high density residential, where such facilities are allowed.

With no questions council members Duane Jirik, Jim Kratochvil and Jennifer Flicek approved the amendment and the rezoning of the four acres.

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