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Wednesday, January 9, 2008 at 8:00 a.m.

Fargo Planning Commission Regular Meeting

City Commission Chambers, City Hall

Agenda

 

8:00 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.   Items A through C

A:  Approve Order of Agenda

B:  Minutes:  Regular Meeting of December 12, 2007

C:  Year End Update by Staff

Public Hearings 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Items 1 through 6

1.      (2007-07-01) Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agricultural to LC, Limited Commercial on the West half of the Northwest quarter of Section 3, Township 138 North, Range 49 West. (Located at the Southeast corner of 45th Streetand 52nd Avenue Southat 5498 and 5776 45th Street South) (Larry Scheffler) (jh) WITHDRAWN

2.      (2007-11-03)Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Fargo Crossroads Center Addition (Minor Subdivision) an Unplatted Portion of the Southeast Quarter, Section 34, Township 139 North, Range 49 West.  (Located at the NW quadrant of Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South). (Timothy P. McShane) (jh)

3.      (2008-01-01)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from MR-3, Multi-Dwelling to DMU, Downtown Mixed-Use on Lot 9, Block 16, Original Townsite Addition. (Located at 915 2nd Avenue South) (Robert & Dollie Becklund) (jh)

4.      (2008-01-02)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to LC, Limited Commercial on Lot 6, less the west 376.75 feet, Block 1,  Village West Addition. (Located at 901 38th Street South) (Sanjay Patel) (mw)

5.      (2008-01-03)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to DMU, Downtown Mixed-Use on parts of Lots 1 through 5 and parts of Lots 7 through 12, Blocks 30, 35, and 39 of Roberts 2nd Addition. (Located at 1001, 1017, 1107, and 1111 4th Avenue North, 520 10th Street North, and 414 11th Street North) (City of Fargo) (nc)

6.      (2008-01-04)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agriculture to GC, General Commercial on a portion of the Southwest Quarter of  Section 18, Township 138 North, Range 48 West. (Located at 4462 South University Drive) (Randy Schneider) (jh)

Public Hearings 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Item 7

7.      (2008-01-05a)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Autumn Fields (Major Subdivision) of an Unplatted Portion of the Southwest Quarter of Section 22, Township 139 North, Range 49 West

(2008-01-05b) Zoning Change from AG, Agriculture to GO, General Office, SR-2, SR-3, and SR-4, Single-Dwelling, P/I, Public/Institiutional, and GC, General Commercial. (Located at 2901 and 3001 42nd Street South and 4201 32nd Avenue South) (Rob Lyngstad) (jh)

Other Items

Brown Bag Luncheon – Wednesday, January 23, 2008 .  

Fargo Planning Commission

Regular Meeting

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Present:        John Paulsen, Mark Brodshaug, Kristi Fremstad, Jeff Morrau, Terry Nordenstrom, Kelly Ruth, Rich Slagle, Jan Ulferts-Stewart, Claire Vigesaa, Catherine Wiley

Absent:          None

Chair Paulsen called the meeting to order.

Item A:  Approve Order of Agenda

Chair Paulsen noted Item No. 1 was withdrawn by the petitioner.  Mr. Morrau moved to approve the Order of Agenda as presented.  Second by Mr. Nordenstrom.  All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item B:  Minutes:  Regular Meeting of December 12, 2007

Mr. Vigesaa moved to approve the minutes of the December 12, 2007 Planning Commission meeting.  Second by Ms. Ulferts-Stewart.  All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item C:  Year End Update by Staff

Mr. Williams presented a year-end review of Fargo building permits issued in 2007.

There was discussion regarding garages fronting streets.  Mr. Morrau questioned if design standards could be brought into closer alignment with codes. 

Mr. Gilmour said the City Commission is interested in holding a meeting with the Planning Commission to address the issue brought forth by Mr. Morrau.  He stated a committee could also look at the issue.  Mr. Gilmour stated year-end numbers for West Fargo and Moorhead are not presently available.  He compared the number of permits issued by type with permits issued in 2006. 

Rocky Schneider, Home Builders Association, said 2008 looks to start off strong in relation to building.  He said the Home Builders Association will have final numbers for comparison in a few weeks.

At 8:45 a.m. , the Board recessed until the 9:00 o’clock a.m. scheduled Hearings.

After recess:  All Commissioners present.  Chair Paulsen presiding.

City Attorney Erik Johnson introduced Assistant City Attorney Robert McConn to the Planning Commission.

Item #1:   (2007-07-01) Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agricultural to LC, Limited Commercial on the West half of the northwest quarter of Section 3, Township 138 North, Range 49 West. (Located at the Southeast corner of 45th Street and 52nd Avenue South at 5498 and 5776 45th Street South ):   WITHDRAWN

( 9:00 a.m. )   A Hearing had been set for July 11, 2007 on a petition for a zoning change on the west half of the northwest quarter of Section 3, Township 138 North, Range 49 West.

At the July 11, 2007 meeting, the Hearing was continued to October 10, 2007 .

At the October 10, 2007 meeting, the Hearing was continued to this date and hour; however, the petition has been withdrawn by the petitioner.

Item #2:  (2007-11-03) Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Fargo Crossroads Center Addition (Minor Subdivision) an Unplatted Portion of the southeast quarter, Section 34, Township 139 North, Range 49 West.  (Located at the NW quadrant of Interstate 29 and 52nd Avenue South):  APPROVED

( 9:00 a.m. )  A Hearing had been set for December 12, 2007 on a petition requesting a plat of Fargo Crossroads Center Addition, an unplatted portion of the southeast quarter of Section 34, Township 139 North, Range 49 West.

At the December 12, 2007 meeting, the Hearing was continued to this date and hour.

Jim Hinderaker stated the petition was not heard during the December 12, 2007 Planning Commission Public Hearing at the request of the petitioner.  He stated the Hearing was continued to January 9, 2007 to allow additional time for the North Dakota Department of Transportation to finalize the right-of-way acquisition for the Interstate 29/52nd Avenue South interchange project.  Mr. Hinderaker stated staff is recommending approval of the petition.

There was discussion regarding the proposed retention ponds.

Aaron Hemquist , RLK Inc., stated separate lots for water retention have been defined to keep their locations from changing in the future.

Mr. Brodshaug moved the findings and recommendations of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the minor plat as it complies with the adopted Area Plan, Standards of Article 20-06 and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Mr. Slagle.  On call of the roll Members Wiley, Fremstad, Slagle, Vigesaa, Ruth, Ulferts-Stewart, Brodshaug, Morrau, Nordenstrom, and Paulsen voted aye.  The motion was declared carried.

Item #3:  (2008-01-01)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from MR-3, Multi-Dwelling to DMU, Downtown Mixed-Use on Lot 9, Block 16, Original Townsite Addition. (Located at 915 2nd Avenue South):  APPROVED

( 9:10 a.m. ) Mr. Hinderaker reviewed the staff report and stated staff has fielded several phone calls from neighbors within the notification area that are curious about the petition, but none have voiced opposition to the proposal.  He stated the petitioners have requested a zone change of the condominium property to address the legal, non-conforming status of the multi-family use of the building and the inability to obtain financing due to the non-conforming status.  He stated staff is recommending approval of the zoning change.

The Petitioner declined commenting on the application.

Mr. Vigesaa moved the findings of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed zoning change from MR-3, Multi-Dwelling to DMU, Downtown Mixed Use on the basis that it satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Ruth.  On call of the roll Members Slagle, Vigesaa, Fremstad, Brodshaug, Morrau, Ruth, Ulferts-Stewart, Wiley, Nordenstrom, and Paulsen voted aye.  The motion was declared carried.

Item #4:  (2008-01-02)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to LC, Limited Commercial on Lot 6, less the west 376.75 feet, Block 1,  Village West Addition. (Located at 901 38th Street South):  APPROVED

( 9:15 a.m. ) Mark Williams presented the staff report for the proposed zoning change.

Mr. Slagle stated there is a concern with making zoning changes to meet specific projects.

Mr. Gilmour said one of the advantages of a reduced set-back is that it allows the building to be closer to the street.  He explained that Limited Commercial zoning is consistent with zoning found in this typical type of retail development.

The Petitioner declined commenting on the application.

Mr. Nordenstrom moved the findings of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed zoning change from GC, General Commercial to LC, Limited Commercial as it complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Ulferts-Stewart.  On call of the roll Members Vigesaa, Morrau, Brodshaug, Ulferts-Stewart, Ruth, Fremstad, Wiley, Nordenstrom, and Paulsen voted aye.  Mr. Slagle voted nay.  The motion was declared carried.

Item #5:  (2008-01-03)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to DMU, Downtown Mixed-Use on parts of Lots 1 through 5 and parts of Lots 7 through 12, Blocks 30, 35, and 39 of Roberts 2nd Addition. (Located at 1001, 1017, 1107, and 1111 4th Avenue North, 520 10th Street North, and 414 11th Street North):  APPROVED

( 9:20 a.m. ) Nicole Crutchfield presented the staff report for the proposed zoning change.  She stated this application is a City initiated zoning change request to expand the Downtown Mixed Use district towards the west in order to preserve and enhance the City’s downtown area.  She said the request follows the recommended actions of the Downtown Framework Plan Update. 

In answer to a question by Ms. Wiley, Ms. Crutchfield stated the Fargo Housing Authority recently purchased one of the properties.

Randy Christianson, representing R & R Investments LLC, property owner of 701, 809, 901, and 903 4th Avenue North, and 420 and 430 7th Street North stated his concern regarding expansion of the Renaissance Zone, recent zoning activity changing from General Commercial to Downtown Mixed Use, the long-term impact this may have on downtown commercial businesses, and the truck corridor on 4th Avenue North.  He questioned what long-term impact residential development may have on safety issues that will affect the truck routes.  He also stated his concern regarding the impact of the Quiet Zone.

Mr. Gilmour explained that Downtown Mixed Use zoning allows for redevelopment.  He stated that when the new Land Development Code (LDC) was adopted, the downtown mixed use category was created and was primarily seen as a way to allow redevelopment downtown to include offices, commercial, and a variety of uses.  He said the LDC also recognizes that certain types of industrial uses within the downtown area exist.  Mr. Gilmour explained that the general philosophy is that in the long term, this land will be redeveloped into more retail, housing, and offices.   He said the City is not trying to make these industrial uses leave the area by this zoning process, but it opens the door for them to redevelop the property if they feel they need to find a better location with better access. 

Mr. Christianson stated the area is becoming less and less accessible to truck traffic as projects are approved in the downtown area.  He said there is a safety issue that needs to be addressed.  He expressed his concern regarding his business being squeezed or forced to look ahead to relocate.  He stated there is not adequate accessibility for truck traffic in the area.

Mr. Gilmour stated this rezoning will have an affect on future use of the buildings, and will not change or solve the issue of traffic downtown.

City Engineer Mark Bittner stated there is need for infrastructure upgrades and street reconstruction in this area. He said 4th Avenue is high on the list and the City does not have any plans to take it off the route designation.

Ms. Crutchfield stated the concerns raised are very valid and require additional thought.  She said two additional processes will look at traffic, circulation, and access when the area is redeveloped.  She clarified that rezoning alone will not look at those concerns.  She pointed out that there is very little difference between General Commercial zoning and Downtown Mixed Use zoning except for the increased density and the addition of residential uses.  Ms. Crutchfield explained that while there are no specific redevelopment plans in place, the area would be developed as higher density/mixed use, not single family.

Chair Paulsen stated the concerns raised by Mr. Christianson are valid, serious, and deserve consideration.

In answer to a question by Mr. Brodshaug, Mr. Bittner stated that with all of the issues that have been raised, the City needs to go into a more detailed analysis with public sessions to make sure the City is getting answers to the questions that are raised.  He said those projects are not currently scheduled, but there is a real need to improve the infrastructure.

Bert Olson, General Manager of Pan-O-Gold Bakery, stated the bakery has steady truck traffic, and high density housing would be incompatible and hinder their operation.

Larry Bosma, property owner of 1102 4th Avenue North , stated his opposition to the zone change, citing safety concerns.

Mr. Mahli stated that while there is not a specific plan for housing at this time, the primary resident population would be low income, single adults that would be homeless without the housing.

Commissioner Coates stated she is currently serving as a Renaissance Zone Authority member, and the guiding philosophy of the Renaissance Zone Authority is to encourage commercial and housing development downtown.  She said that may create a climate which is more challenging for industrial businesses located downtown.  She suggested it be acknowledged that with the successful redevelopment and growth of the downtown area, the inconvenience of transportation and trucking will be encountered. 

Mr. Christiansen reiterated his desire to work on a long-term plan to deal with the existing businesses and safety issues.

Ms. Wiley moved the findings of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed zoning change from GC, General Commercial to DMU, Downtown Mixed Use on the basis that it satisfactorily complies with the Comprehensive Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Mr. Brodshaug.  On call of the roll Members Ulferts-Stewart, Brodshaug, Fremstad, Wiley, Ruth, and Paulsen voted aye.  Members Slagle, Vigesaa, Morrau, and Nordenstrom voted nay.  The motion was declared carried.

Ms. Wiley moved to recommend to the City Commission to improve and maintain truck access to downtown commercial and development and industries, and limit the pedestrian accessibility of these industries from the railroad.  Second by Ms. Fremstad.  All Members present voted aye except Mr. Slagle who voted nay.  The motion was declared carried.

At 10:04 a.m. the Board took a five-minute recess.

After recess:  All Commissioners present.  Chair Paulsen presiding.

Item #6:  (2008-01-04)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agriculture to GC, General Commercial on a portion of the Southwest Quarter of  Section 18, Township 138 North, Range 48 West. (Located at 4462 South University Drive):  DENIED

( 10:11 a.m. ) Mr. Hinderaker presented the staff report for the proposed zoning change stating the property is outside of City limits, within the City’s Extra-territorial area, and about a mile and a half south of 64th Avenue South .  He stated another key component is that within the ET area, the vast majority of this area is zoned AG, Agricultural.  He stated his understanding is that there are a number of rural residential developments within the vicinity that the City of Fargo applies single-family zoning criteria to.  Mr. Hinderaker stated the other significant issue staff considered is that the 2007 Growth Plan identifies a pocket of commercial on the property.  He explained the Growth Plan identifies commercial land use as supportive of office uses, retail uses, and residential; but specifically lists warehouse uses as an industrial use.  He stated notices to the public were sent up to a half mile from the property, and staff fielded many phone calls and e-mails from the public who were interested in the proposal.  He stated there is opposition to the zoning changing to a commercial zone; most of the complaints thought it should be residential.  Mr. Hinderaker explained that the petitioner has asked for full GC, General Commercial, which would allow warehouse uses on the entire 20 acres.  He stated that staff finds the petition is not in keeping with the 2007 Growth Plan and that the proposed zoning is not compatible with the existing residential land uses.  However, he stated, in an effort to work with the petitioner, staff recommends that a smaller portion of the property (approximately five acres), zoned Limited Commercial, would in fact, meet the approval criteria of the Land Development Code.

Mr. Brodshaug pointed out that the rational behind the 2007 Growth Plan for the small areas of commercial within certain neighborhoods was to have businesses that support the neighborhoods.  In answer to a follow-up question by Mr. Brodshaug, Mr. Hinderaker said there wasn’t anything specifically stated describing this commercial area as businesses that support the neighborhood.

In answer to a question by Chair Paulsen, Mr. Hinderaker stated the petitioner wishes to pursue the full 20 acres as General Commercial.

Ms. Fremstad stated her concern regarding flood control for this area.  She questioned how others in the area will be affected by the property being elevated as it is developed.

Mr. Bittner stated development is allowed within the flood plain, as is elevated structures.  In answer to a question by Ms. Fremstad, he stated a flood plan is expected to be selected by the end of April.

Dunnley Mattke, 8701 South University Drive , Hogenson Construction Company, stated they are looking for a new home as they have outgrown their existing location.  He stated the company’s activity in the local area as a heavy contractor is minimal from the standpoint that the equipment is not located here.  He said the business is more of a professional organization than industrial, and does have requirements for storage from time to time.  He explained that the parcel is located on a busy highway and they felt it was a good location for the proposed zoning.  He stated they want to be a good neighbor and do not understand why this would not be a good use as they feel the proposed project will enhance the area.  He stated their plan is to develop an office location and let the market determine additional development.  He stated their preference is to rezone the entire area.

Randy Schneider, petitioner, stated as far as aesthetics, he wants the proposed project to blend into the surrounding community.

In answer to a question by Mr. Nordenstrom, Mr. Mattke stated the site will not fit the company’s needs if they are not allowed to construct a warehouse.  He stated they are willing to make adjustments to find yard space elsewhere.

There was discussion regarding how to define warehousing versus storage.

Rodney Young, 8009 15th Street South , member of Stanley Township supervisors, stated his concern regarding flooding issues.

Dale Ziegler, 1630 Round Hill Drive , spoke of his concern regarding flooding issues.  He stated this is a very residential area and he does not want to see more commercial traffic added.

Heather Budge, 1629 Round Hill Drive , stated this proposal does not fit the long-term needs of the area.

Dr. Robert Saunders, 8517 South University Drive , stated his opposition, citing safety issues.

Dr. Jim Carlson, resident of Round Hill stated his opposition to the proposal.  He stated he believes this project should be located in the industrial park or closer to the interstate.

Dean Heitman, area property owner, stated he does not think this is the right place for a construction yard.

Todd Olsen, 944 76th Avenue South , stated his concern regarding the affect land elevated for development of this proposal would have on flooding.

Mr. Slagle stated he agrees this area is not truly residential because of the heavy, fast traffic.  He stated the proposal makes sense in another more industrial area.

Mr. Morrau moved the findings and recommendations of staff be accepted and denial be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed zone change from AG, Agricultural to GC, General Commercial on the basis that the proposal does not comply with the Comprehensive Plan and Section 20-0906.F (2, 3, or 4) of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Fremstad.  On call of the roll Members Ruth, Fremstad, Wiley, Morrau, Vigesaa, Brodshaug, Ulferts-Stewart, Slagle, Nordenstrom, and Paulsen voted aye.  The motion was declared carried.

Item #7:  (2008-01-05a)Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Autumn Fields (Major Subdivision) of an Unplatted Portion of the Southwest Quarter of Section 22, Township 139 North, Range 49 West:  APPROVED

(2008-01-05b) Zoning Change from AG, Agriculture to GO, General Office, SR-2, SR-3, and SR-4, Single-Dwelling, P/I, Public/Institiutional, and GC, General Commercial. (Located at 2901 and 3001 42nd Street South and 4201 32nd Avenue South):  APPROVED

( 11:06 a.m. ) Mr. Hinderaker summarized the staff report for the proposed plat and zoning change.  He stated the proposed subdivision provides a mix of future housing opportunities including single-family detached homes and twin-homes.  He said it incorporates commercial and office land uses along 32nd Avenue South and 42nd Street South , thereby providing a suitable buffer and transition from these arterial streets and the proposed residential development.  He stated staff suggests that the proposal is consistent with the purpose of the Land Development Code, the applicable Growth Plan, and other adopted policies of the City.

Mr. Slagle commented on the connectivity of paths between the fields and the development.

Mr. Hinderaker stated there will be pedestrian access from the residential area and senior center to the ball diamonds.

Ms. Ulferts-Stewart moved the findings and recommendations of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed subdivision plat and zoning change, as outlined within the staff report, as the proposal complies with the adopted Area Plan, the Standards of Article 20-06, Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Ruth.  On call of the roll Members Morrau, Brodshaug, Fremstad, Wiley, Ruth, Ulferts-Stewart, Slagle, Vigesaa, Nordenstrom, and Paulsen voted aye.  The motion was declared carried.

The time at adjournment was 11:19 o’clock a.m.

Other Items

January Brown Bag Luncheon – January 23, 2008