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City clarifies zoning ordinance provisions; defines boundaries of overlay districts

West Fargo City Commissioners Monday night approved first reading of zoning ordinance amendments to the Sheyenne Corridor Overlay District, Main Avenue Overlay District, Landscaping Standards and Parking Regulations, all minor changes that City Planning Director Larry Weil said will better clarify some of the provisions that were established about a year ago upon the recommendation of the Downtown Development Study.

For the two overlay districts the modifications deal with defining the boundaries of the districts instead of referring to them as the Sheyenne Street and Main Avenue Framework Study. “It just makes it easier,” Weil said. “If people review it they will know what the boundaries are.”

The changes will also define at what point property owners are required to build to the front of their property lines as well as yard setback and outdoor display and material requirements.

The landscape plan was also adopted a year ago. After almost two seasons of experience with the regulations minor adjustments were proposed to clarify what properties the regulations apply to as well as adjusting the required number of plant units to more reasonable numbers, which has been reviewed and supported by landscape architects and property owners in the community.

Weil said that an ordinance provision addressing the problem of mud being dragged onto the streets from unpaved access points and parking lots is also being better clarified to provide the rationale for the regulation and provide flexibility for staff to consider design solutions to the problem. The regulation increases the area to be paved if necessary to correct the problem and would give properties three years to correct the issue.

The commission voted 5-0 to support the changes.

In other action, the commission:

  • following a public hearing, voted to table action and continue a request from Rusty Goose Development at the Oct. 7 meeting to approve first reading of zoning ordinance amendments for nursing homes, retirement homes, convalescent homes, assisted living facilities and the like as permitted use in a commercial office park district.
  • approved a request from Jason Gustofson for a building permit for a 48X80 sq. ft. accessory building prior to planning and zoning subdivision and rezoning approval on his property in Mapleton Township. A conditional use permit was approved by the city in October of 2012. Gustofson is willing to start construction at his own risk;
  • following a public hearing at which no one voiced protest, approved rezoning and first reading for rezoning from one to two family dwellings to limited multiple dwellings for Goldenwood 5th Addition. J&O Real Estate wants to subdivide the 70 acre parcel located north of 12th Avenue Northwest and west of Cass County Highway 17, for sale and development. There are 191 single family and twinhome lots in the area. The city agreed to look at access points in the area due to the increased traffic that could be generated by all the activity. About 25 acres are developed to date.
  • reviewed and approved the 2012 audit report which according to City Administrator Jim Brownlee was “an overall good year for the city.” The report required one adjustment which was defined and corrected.
  • heard that longtime West Fargo Sanitation Department Manager Dennis Correll will be retiring on Feb. 28, 2014.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place Monday, Oct. 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the commission chamber at West Fargo City Hall, 800 4th Ave. E. All meetings are open to the public.