A greenhouse and landscaping business meant to be a destination for families in southern West Fargo took one step closer to opening Tuesday, Feb. 18, after it was slowed due to neighbor concerns.
Jodi Kallias, of Greenworks Properties, is planning to purchase the property at 225 40th Ave. W. in West Fargo, which is just southwest of 40th Avenue and Sheyenne Street. Kallias plans to then remove the existing home and add a boutique shop for gifts and garden stock such as trees, shrubs and perennials.
Kallias said she planned to hold classes and workshops in the boutique space. Accelerated Green Works, the sister company focused on residential landscape design service would occupy the 2.5-acre lot as well.
On Jan. 14, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved rezoning the property from rural residential to light commercial provided Kallias works with the city on turning the access point from full access to limited and complies with the city’s buffering regulations and installs landscaping. But after neighbors wrote letters and spoke at the Feb. 3 City Commission meeting, the commission denied the request to change zoning on the property from residential to light commercial and asked the owner return with a request for planned unit development, or PUD, instead.
The PUD will allow the business to move into the property, but if the business would ever move out, any other business wishing to open in the location would have to go through proper city processes and be approved by the commission.
The City Commission approved the first reading of the application at its meeting Tuesday, Feb. 18.
Planning Director Tim Solberg said the location of the property would not cause it to need additional requirements such as landscaping or buffers. He did not initially recommend a PUD because the city’s buffering requirements and building laws would have ensured the business fit well into the area.
"The property is surrounded by public property as well as large arterial roadways," Solberg said. "In this case, we felt the buffering requirements were sufficient."
Kallias said the business would not be using large trucks and, in fact, she was attracted to the location in part due to the nearby walking trail as she envisioned hosting children and family classes at the boutique, which they could walk to.
“This is meant to complement the area. There isn’t a nursery or garden center on the south end of town,” she said.
Initially, Kallias was concerned the additional time needed to accrue correct permits from the city could affect the sale of the property and prevent opening by this spring.
Due to the timing of the plan, a public hearing will be held at the second reading of the request, which will be at the City Commission's March 2 meeting.