A crowd of about 30 people filled the East Alton Village Board meeting room recently to hear the board’s action on rezoning a family’s single residence to an agricultural designation.
“We would like to have some animals on our property,” said Kelly Slayden, who with her husband, Scott, bought a 100-year-old farm on 410 Airline Drive four years ago from Spencer Smith in hopes to keep the property running like a farm with cows, pigs, chickens and a horse.
“We feel like this is a benefit for a lot of people for good reasons, and we hope the village of East Alton would support us,” she said.
Mayor Fred Bright said Slayden was looking at two issues.
“The rezoning and the animals are two different things altogether,” he said. “Animals are by ordinance and zoning is by the Zoning Board” of Appeals.
The Zoning Board of Appeals recommendation, signed on Feb. 28, was to allow the family to rezone the property to an agricultural designation.
Village Attorney Will Miller said even if the property is rezoned to agricultural doesn’t mean the owners can keep the farm animals.
“The zoning board made a recommendation to this board. This board is in the center of that recommendation and is declining to rate another classification for agricultural purposes,” Miller said at the meeting, “because that opens it up to every citizen in East Alton, whether or not they have sufficient grounds, whether they want animals or what have you. We can’t open it up to the city as a whole.”
The board unanimously rejected the Slaydens’ request to rezone the property.
Miller said East Alton typically has two types of properties, SR1, or single-family residence, and SR2, or commercial property.