RICHMOND — Richmond Common Council on Monday night protected a 4-acre plot of land north of Interstate 70 for future commercial development.

Council denied 4-3 a request by Timothy Cummings to amend zoning for 1817 Highland Road so he could develop a church at that location. The land, which is across Highland Road from the Highland Lake Golf Course parking lot, basically borders I-70 to the north just east of the interchange with U.S. 27.

With the vote deadlocked, Gary Turner, this year's council president, cast the deciding vote. He had already declared that he would vote against the request by Cummings, who was formerly the pastor for New Creations. Councilors Doug Goss, Bruce Wissel and Jamie Lopeman also voted against the request, while councilors Kelley Cruse-Nicholson, Clay Miller and Jeffrey Locke supported the request.

“My one thought about this particular site is that it’s on 70, and I’ve been privy to innumerable meetings where people have had the concern that we maybe don’t give 70 the attention it needs as the single most important commercial corridor," Turner said.

He added that the city's comprehensive plan is being updated and he hopes development of the I-70 corridor will be addressed in that planning.

Miller, who spoke prior to the vote in support of the request, said after the meeting that the denial surprised him.

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