Meadowlakes property owner withdraws protest over office

MEADOWLAKES — Though a businessman has withdrawn a protest that threatened to halt the construction of a small office, the developer now says he’s not in any hurry to finish the project. Jim Ryno of Ryno and Associates Real Estate said he has pulled his protest of the building committee’s approval of a building plan submitted by Roberto Saenz.

Saenz wants to build a 400-square-foot office building on property at the intersection of Meadowlakes Drive and  Colorado Street.

“It’s time to move on,” Ryno said. “I thought it was a good idea to get it out of the public eye. I hope that there can be some compromise made on the property so something can be done on it.”

While this clears the way to file a building permit and begin construction on the office, Saenz said he’s not breaking ground anytime soon.

“In turn with Jim pulling his protest, I’m in no hurry to build that office,” Saenz said Monday. “I have a tenant who’s signed a letter of intent (to rent it when completed). But he understands the situation.”

Saenz said he’s willing to work with the city on coming up with a suitable use for the property.

“Right now we’re looking at all avenues,” he said. “My son and I want do what’s right for the city of Meadowlakes and the community.”

On Jan. 18, the building committee voted 3-2 to approve Saenz’s plan for the building  just outside the main gates but still within the city limits. But the plans hit a snag when Ryno submitted a protest.

At the time, Ryno opposed the plan because he said the building didn’t fit with Meadowlakes’ standards.

Now that Ryno’s protest has been dropped, it won’t go before the City Council during the regular meeting at 5 p.m.  today at Totten Hall, 177 Broadmoor.

Saenz earlier had plans to build a long-term storage facility on the site, but those died when the council didn’t approve a zoning change for the property in January.

However, the council had given Saenz permission to build the facility in the fall, but had to nullify that order when the city attorney said a public hearing should have been held first.

daniel@thepicayune.com

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