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New signage, new beginning

If all goes according to plans, there will be a new tenant in the former Dakota Heartland facility that has been sitting vacant for several years on the north side of 13th Avenue East, west of 6th Street East.

Integrated Health Marketing, which will do business as a medical clinic facility, was granted a planned unit development amendment and a conditional use permit by West Fargo City Commissioners Monday night for an illuminated, freestanding sign with electronic message board at the site that will include staff names as well as promote information pertinent to the site.

The proposed use is consistent with the City's Land Use Plan; however, the sign request required a Conditional Use Permit. The proposed sign will be an illuminated, pole type structure with an electronic message center that will be located on the south side of the property along 13th Avenue East. The present monument signage on the property will be converted to planters and any trees not planted or that have died will be replanted and maintained.

The property to the north is residential and no comments were received from homeowners living in the area opposing such action.

Mayor Rich Mattern said he is pleased by the activity. "I think after five years, it is great to see someone moving into the facility."

Commissioners also approved a Renaissance Zone project request from longtime West Fargo resident and businessman Larry Lepird who is intending to renovate the existing space at 213 and 217 East Main for a health club facility that will be locating there.

The project will involve new ceilings and walls, plumbing and electrical upgrades, floor leveling, adding locker rooms, exterior work including soffits and painting, parking lot repair, and providing a little additional green space.

City Business Development Director Dorinda Anderson, who made the presentation, said the health facility will be a destination business and a good use for the structure.

In other action, the Commission:

-approved second reading of Ordinance No. 800 related to health issues pertaining to animal waste, swimming and wading pools, smoke and gases, food service establishments, child care centers, pet shops, clean-up of clandestine drug lab sites and chemical dump sites, and soft-serve freezing/dispensing machines;

-okayed three Conditional Use Requests for aboveground fuel tanks. The first, a 1000 gallon diesel fuel tank for DMI Industries on the south side of Sheyenne Diversion Road, west of County Highway 19, directly west of the old Federal Beef plant, to be used to fill onsite equipment. The second, for Wanzek Construction for a 5,000 gallon diesel fuel tank and a 2,000 gallon gasoline tank at their property on the north side of Main Avenue West and the south side of Second Avenue Northwest. The third, for DMI Industries for a 1,000 gallon diesel fuel tank and a 300 gallon gasoline tank on their property at 420 E. Main Ave;

-tabled a request for a Conditional Use Permit for automobile sales made by Sean McAllister at 225 E. Main Ave., the property formerly occupied by Dino's Road Service and Repair. McAllister was not present at the meeting. Commissioner Brenda Warren made the motion to table, saying she had several questions that she would like McAllister to answer before making a decision;

-granted a Planned Unit Development Amendment to Jordahl Custom Homes to allow for decks and patios in Block 1 of Westport Beach 2nd Addition;

-approved a PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) request for Sheyenne Senior Commons Senior housing unit at 205 14th Ave. E., a 30-unit townhouse style rental housing development owned by Region V Community Development Corp. The units will consist of 18 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units. The 30 percent medium income group will have first priority in occupancy with 40 percent, 50 percent and 60 percent, following in priority. The PILOT will consist of a 15-year term with five percent of gross rents charged for property taxes per year. The West Fargo Economic Development Advisory Committee approved the application earlier.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the West Fargo City Commission will take place at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 4, in the Commission Chambers at West Fargo City Hall. The last in a series of 2008 Budget meetings will take place immediately following. All meetings are open to the public.