Proposed Quilting House Hits Zoning Snag In Auburn

AUBURN – The Auburn City Council was asked Monday to expedite zoning restrictions for a quilting house in a residential zone.

Eric Bohling  said he is remodeling the house to accommodate group quilting work and expects up to 10 women at a time to come for a weekend to make their quilts.

He said he had already started furnishing the quilt house when he learned it is not a permitted use in Auburn’s residential zone.

Bohling: “I’m in the same zoning as what the nursing home is, my land is in that area. It doesn’t specifically say you can have it for a quilting house, so they are really not allowing me to do it. So, I’m just trying to get them to, maybe, rezone it.”

Bohling’s cousin, quilter Pat Fiorese (Fee-or-eez), urge the city council to support a quilting house as a means of economic development.

Fiorese: “It would be great to have one in this area. We have two quilt stores, the restaurants, the gas stations, antique stores, Village Design Womens Clothing … it would draw people in. It would bring people.”

Connie Dorsch of Needles I Upholstery said she hopes the city will give its blessing in time for the Nebraska Independent Fabric Shops spring promotion. She said the quilt house could bring up to 700 people to her store.

Dorsch: “The reason we are trying to push this a little faster is, we would like to get some advertising out for Eric, if he can do this, because the first of March we start a thing called shop hop.”

Bohling, who is a cattle feeder by trade, has built spec houses for re-sale in Auburn over the pasts 25 years.

Bohling: “This house, for some reason or another, we haven’t been able to get it sold, so this is an idea I came up with because it’s just costing me money every day. I mean, it’s just eating us up – the cost of this house.”

City Attorney Angelo Ligouri told Bohling the rezoning process could take months to complete.

He did not receive a response when he asked if he could proceed now while the rezoning process is started. He noted another agenda item Monday, saying the business is operating during the rezoning process.

Ligouri said other zoning issues should not be thought of as setting a precedent as they have separate situations.