Planning commission denies Fareway rezoning request

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The Rock Island Planning Commission voted to deny a grocery chain request to rezone land occupied by an abandoned school.

Preservationists and some neighbors are fighting a Fareway Grocery Stores petition to rezone the Audobon School in Rock Island.  The grocery chain wants to put a store at the site at

Opponents cite the historical value of the building, the size of the site and the potential impact on the quality of life in the neighborhood around the school.

“It will decrease the property values if this goes forward.  It will decrease the quality of life for the people that currently live there.  And, by their own admission, the site is too small for how they develop their own stores,” said neighborhood resident Michael Wahnlmann.

The planning commission recommendation to deny the rezoning now moves forward to the full city council, which still could decide to allow the rezoning.