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City gives first reading to new adult entertainment ordinance

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West Fargo City Commissioners gave first reading Monday night to a new ordinance that will require adult entertainment and escort services to obtain licenses and submit to background checks if they want to work in the community.

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Adopting Ordinance No. 980 will provide clarity when future investigations arise, giving the city and the police department a regulatory mechanism that will serve several objectives and goals including: not restricting or burdening individuals and businesses engaging in legitimate adult entertainment businesses; protecting patrons utilizing adult entertainment businesses from criminal activities by being able to identify legitimate adult entertainment services providers; protecting minors by prohibiting them from engaging in or receiving adult entertainment services; and discouraging illegal prostitution.

City attorney John Shockley said the reason behind the ordinance is “purely licensing” and not any zoning issues. “This will give law enforcement a way to enforce and curb legal activity.”

He added it is similar to an ordinance adopted by the city of Moorhead earlier this year. He said anyone conducting such a business would have to be licensed as well as any employees.

A copy of the ordinance will be sent to the state attorney general’s office for an opinion to make sure the wording complies with state statutes before second reading is adopted. License would be good for a year with the fee to be set by the city. Applicants would have to be 18 years and older to apply.

In other action, the commission:

  • approved second and final reading of Ordinance No. 980 relating to garbage collection fees removing the $4 homestead reduction, making everyone’s utility rate $13 per month;
  • okayed a resolution of annexation for Eide property north of 40th Avenue, consisting of approximately 17.55 acres in Westview First Addition, setting a public hearing date of Jan. 6, 2014 that will start the annexation process;;
  • following public hearings, approved resolutions of insufficient protest for Street Improvement District No. 2230 and Street Improvement District No. 2229, each consisting of asphalt street overlays, miscellaneous installations, and anything else pertaining. Residents were at the meeting to comment on the latter, with two gentlemen asking for curb repair, which the city saying they would check into it, and another saying he felt 15th Avenue repair should be paid for by the city. These items will be point of future discussion as the intent of the motion action was only to confirm the validity of the projects moving forward;
  • provided no action for Sewer, Water, Storm and Street Improvement District No. 1267, for sanitary sewer, water, storm sewer, concrete streets, curb and gutter, street lights, and miscellaneous installations, because the matter was 75 percent protested out;
  • following a public hearing okayed first reading on the rezoning of Lots 1-81, Block 3 of Brooks Harbor 1st Addition, from one and two family dwellings to planned unit development at the request of Randy Cramer for the construction of twin homes and single family dwellings on the 5,248-plus vacant parcel, located south of I-94 and west of Sheyenne St. The conceptual site plan shows 36 bi-level twin homes, 12 two-story single family structures and 33 bi-level single family. The proposed subdivision is consistent with city plans and ordinances;
  • following a public hearing approved rezoning of Lot 1, Block 1 of Prairie Heights 2nd Addition from limited multiple dwellings to light commercial and a land use amendment from medium density residential to general commercial. Don Dabbert made the request for the 55,000 square foot parcel, located on the south side of 32nd Avenue East, west of 4th Street East to allow for development of light commercial uses, possibly including a daycare, coffee shop, or health-related office. Since the proposed commercial uses are not consistent with city plans and ordinances a land use plan amendment is needed;
  • following a public hearing, approved first reading of North Pond at the Preserve 4th Addition from agricultural to light commercial and commercial office park and a land use amendment for low density residential to office park. The request was made by Dan Bueide on behalf of Rusty Goose Development for a 13.73 acre parcel west of Veterans Blvd. and south of I-94, between 23rd and 26th Avenues East. The development is consistent with city plans and ordinances with the land use plan amendment;
  • following a public hearing, approved first reading for the rezoning of 4RB Subdivision, located in the city’s extraterritorial areas along 19th Avenue Northwest, west of Cass County Highway 17, from agricultural to rural estate district and a land use amendment from agricultural preservation to rural residential in order to make it consistent with city plans and ordinances. Roger Larsen made the request for the 11.54 acre parcel to allow for the sale of an existing farmstead;
  • gave final plat approval for Charleswood 31st Addition and approval of the planned unit development for single family dwellings, a request made by Aaron Greterman, for the approximate 8.4 acre parcel located on a peninsula along the Sheyenne River, west of Charleswood River Estates 2nd through 6th Additions and northwest of the Oakwood Bend development, accessed off the west end of 20th Avenue East, via a private drive. Preliminary plans call for seven single family homes in a gated community. The development is consistent with city plans and ordinances. Part of the motion included having geo-tech evaluations done for each lot since the area is surrounded by water and the setbacks were reduced from 100 to 75 feet;
  • awarded the contract for Sewer and Water Improvement District No. 1264, Charleswood 31st Addition, to Kindred Plumbing and Heating, Kindred, N.D., with a low bid of $347,582. The engineer’s estimate was $330,000;
  • awarded the contract for Street Improvement District No. 2219, from 7th Avenue East to 17th Street East to 45th Street South to Dakota Underground Company, Fargo, for the construction amount of $1,490,142.85. The local cost, estimated to be $404,472.02 will be shared between the cities of West Fargo and Fargo. The action will be presented to the Fargo City Commission on Dec. 23 for their action. The engineer’s estimate was $1,327,101.40. North Dakota Department of Transportation officials reviewed the initial Abstract of Bids Received, recommending that Dakota Underground be awarded the contract, with West Fargo city officials concurring.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chambers at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.

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