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Wednesday, October 8, 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 D
A:      Approve Order of Agenda
B:      Minutes:  Regular Meeting of September 10, 2008
C:      Resolution of Appreciation presented to Claire Vigesaa
D:      25th Street South Corridor Study Presentation by Ryan Huff of HWS

Public Hearings 9:00 a.m. to 9:45 a.m. Items 1 through 8
1.      Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Microsoft Addition (Minor Subdivision), a replat of Lot 1, Block 2 of Great Plains Software Addition, and Lot 1, Block 3 of Prairie Tech Addition, and Lot 1, Block 1 of Vista Addition. (Located at 3800, 3900, and 4000 Great Plains Drive South and 4412 42nd Street South) (Jeff Zeltinger) (nc):  WITHDRAWN

2.      Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Text Amendment to amend Article 20-02 Base Zoning Districts, and other applicable sections of Chapter 20 of the Fargo Municipal Code (Land Development Code) for the purpose of creating a new mixed-use zoning district, University Mixed-Use District.  The purpose of the new zoning district is to accommodate a variety of mixed-use project types in areas near downtown and university settings that have access to transit.  The new zoning district includes use regulations, density standards, development standards to include parking, landscape, and building design. (City of Fargo) (nc)

3.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agricultural to GC, General Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter; LC, Limited Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on portions of the north half of Section 3, Township 138 North, Range 49 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, Cass County, North Dakota. (Located at 5498 45th Street South and 4250 and 4136 52nd Avenue South) (Larry Scheffler) (jh)

4.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from NC, Neighborhood Commercial to LC, Limited Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on the south 51 feet of Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; the south 51 feet of the south 101 feet of the west 8.4 feet of Lot 6; the southern 70 feet of the east 16.6 feet of Lot 6; all of Lot 7; and the west 8.4 feet of Lot 8, Block SS of Erskines Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 1117 and 1155 13th Avenue South) (Steven Stremick) (jh)  ACCELERATED:

5.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to LI, Limited Industrial on Lots 1, 2, 4, and the adjacent 20 feet of the vacated street lying along the western edge of Lots 1 and 2, Block 2, West Park Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota. (Located at 441 and 501 38th Street South) (Brad Sather) (mw)

6.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Conditional Use Permit for an Alternative Access Plan to allow for valet parking on Lot 23, Block 18 of Reeves Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 1405 1st Avenue North) (Phil Stahl) (mw)

7.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from MR-1, Multi-Dwelling to LC, Limited Commercial on Lots 5, 6, and 7, Block 3, Town Square Village Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 3921 and 3957 Village Lane South) (Terry Stroh) (mw)

8.      Hearing on a Petition requesting a Conditional Use Permit to allow for Group Living as a residential use within the DMU, Downtown Mixed Use zoning districts for Lots 27, 28, 29, Block 1, of Roberts Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 630 1st Avenue North) (Bullinger Enterprises, LLLP) (nc)
     

Other Items
Rakowski Appeal

Brown Bag Luncheon – Wednesday, October 22, 2008.

 

BOARD OF PLANNING COMMISSIONERS

Minutes

 

Regular Meeting:                        Wednesday:                        October 8, 2008:

The Regular Meeting of the Board of Planning Commissioners of the City of Fargo, North Dakota, was held in the City Commission Room at City Hall at 8:00 o'clock a.m., Wednesday, October 8, 2008.

The Planning Commissioners present or absent were as follows:

Present:         John Paulsen, Kristi Fremstad, Jeff Morrau, Peggy Palmes, Kelly Steffes, Claire Vigesaa, Catherine Wiley

Absent:          Rich Slagle, Jan Ulferts-Stewart

Chair Paulsen called the meeting to order.

Item A:           Approve Order of Agenda

Chair Paulsen noted Item No. 1 was withdrawn at the request of the Petitioner and Item No. 4 will be continued to November 12, 2008.  Ms. Fremstad moved to approve the Order of Agenda as amended.  Second by Ms. Palmes.  All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item B:           Minutes:  Regular Meeting of September 10, 2008

Ms. Fremstad moved to approve the minutes of the September 10, 2008 Planning Commission meeting.  Second by Mr. Morrau.  All Members present voted aye and the motion was declared carried.

Item C:           Resolution of Appreciation presented to Claire Vigesaa

Chair Paulsen read the following Resolution of Appreciation:

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa was appointed to the Fargo Planning Commission on January 3, 2005 and served for 3 1/2 years; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa gave of his time to serve his community in a capacity that required careful thought and consideration to benefit the community; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa participated with the Planning Commission on the project of updating the Fargo Growth Plan; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa brought to the Planning Commission a better understanding of the concerns and values of county residents who live outside of Fargo; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa supported economic development initiatives to bring jobs to this metropolitan area; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa provided thoughtful and valuable comments on land use issues that affected Fargo residents; and

            WHEREAS, Claire Vigesaa allowed City staff, his fellow Planning Commissioners, and the public the privilege of working with an individual who exhibits exemplary diplomacy, respect, and courteous patience.

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Fargo Planning Commission does hereby acknowledge with gratitude and appreciation the time and personal interest Claire Vigesaa devoted to the Fargo Planning Commission.

            BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this Resolution be inscribed upon the permanent record of the Planning Commission and thereby the City of Fargo, and that a certified copy be forwarded to Mr. Vigesaa.

Item D:           25th Street South Corridor Study Presentation by Ryan Huff of HWS

City of Fargo Traffic Engineer Jeremy Gorden introduced Ryan Huff of HWS and stated the study looked at existing traffic flow conditions on 25th Street South from 13th to 23rd Avenue.

Ryan Huff, HWS, stated the purpose of the study was to examine issues such as congestion, capacity during peak hours, safety and delay along the corridor; identify any deficiencies; and develop solutions to address the deficiencies.  He presented alternatives and their respective features. Mr. Huff summarized the finalist alternative and noted the following geometric features: a six-lane section (3 lanes in each direction), a proposed shift of the I-94 South Ramp Terminal, a new eastbound on-ramp to I-94, addition of a new southbound lane between 17th and 13th Avenue South, and raised medians. He stated these features will improve congestion and delay significantly.  He noted the proposed shift of the south terminal will clear up sight distance problems, and the on-ramp will eliminate the northbound left crash trend at the south terminal.

At 9:03 a.m. the Board took a five-minute recess.

After recess:  All Members present except Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  Chair Paulsen presiding.

Item 1:            Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Plat of Microsoft Addition (Minor Subdivision), a replat of Lot 1, Block 2 of Great Plains Software Addition, and Lot 1, Block 3 of Prairie Tech Addition, and Lot 1, Block 1 of Vista Addition. (Located at 3800, 3900, and 4000 Great Plains Drive South and 4412 42nd Street South) (Jeff Zeltinger):  WITHDRAWN

A Hearing had been set for July 9, 2008 on a petition requesting a plat of Microsoft Addition.

At the July 9, 2008 meeting, the Hearing was continued August 13, 2008.

At the August 13, 2008 meeting, the Hearing was continued to this date and hour; however, the petition has been withdrawn by the Petitioner.

Item 2:            Continued Hearing on a Petition requesting a Text Amendment to amend Article 20-02 Base Zoning Districts, and other applicable sections of Chapter 20 of the Fargo Municipal Code (Land Development Code) for the purpose of creating a new mixed-use zoning district, University Mixed-Use District.  (City of Fargo):  APPROVED

(9:09 a.m.) A Hearing had been set for July 9, 2008 on a petition requesting a text amendment to amend Article 20-02 Base Zoning Districts.

At the July 9, 2008 meeting, the Hearing was continued to August 13, 2008.

At the August 13, 2008 meeting, the Hearing was continued to this date and hour.

City Planner Nicole Crutchfield summarized the history of actions taken to date regarding the proposed University Mixed-Use (UMU) District.  She stated the main neighborhood concerns involve parking and building height.  She outlined tools and programs to implement in order to address these concerns, as well as additional neighborhood concerns such as enforcement, home ownership incentives, and creep of higher density.  Ms. Crutchfield reviewed considerations including UMU zoning must be more appealing than MR, Multi-Dwelling zoning, and noted the balance of what is achievable and cash flow are key. She stated the intent of the district is to promote high quality development in certain districts, while preserving the single family owner-occupied housing within the neighborhood.

Ken Enockson, Roosevelt Neighborhood Association President, stated his appreciation of the City of Fargo staff working with the residents and said he wants to continue working with the City of Fargo and NDSU.  He noted his concern regarding parking and stated it needs to be consistent around NDSU and within the neighborhood.  He also noted his concern with the neighborhood’s review of proposals and stated they will rely on staff and the Planning Commission’s expertise.

Chair Paulsen stated his support for the proposed text amendment and said he feels it is good for the City of Fargo, NDSU, and the Roosevelt neighborhood.  He said the adoption of this district is a critical step.

Ms. Wiley commended Ms. Crutchfield and staff for bringing forward this well researched and thought out project stating it is a strong step forward for all parties involved.

Mr. Vigesaa moved the findings of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed text amendment of Article 20-02 Base Zoning Districts and other applicable sections of Chapter 20 of the Fargo Municipal Code (Land Development Code) for the purpose of creating a new mixed-use zoning district, University Mixed-Use District.  Second by Ms. Palmes.  On call of the roll Members Wiley, Fremstad, Palmes, Vigesaa, Steffes, Morrau, and Paulsen voted aye. Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.

Item 3:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from AG, Agricultural to GC, General Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter; LC, Limited Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on portions of the north half of Section 3, Township 138 North, Range 49 West of the Fifth Principal Meridian, Cass County, North Dakota. (Located at 5498 45th Street South, and 4250 and 4136 52nd Avenue South) (Larry Scheffler):  APPROVED

City of Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker presented the staff report for the proposed zoning change with a Conditional Overlay.  He stated staff is recommending approval as the proposal meets all approval criteria.

The Petitioner declined commenting on the application.

Bob Straus stated he represents an owner of property to the south of this area. He said although the owner is not opposed to the zoning change, the property owner is questioning whether or not it will restrict his ability to use his property.

Mr. Hinderaker stated the Growth Plan currently denotes this area as commercial, which then transitions to multi-family and then to low to medium density.  He noted it is possible that the property owner abutting this land may need a Growth Plan amendment, depending upon the time the property owner wants to move forward with development.  He stated the property owner would have the option to weigh in at that time.

Ms. Wiley moved the findings and recommendations of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the zone change as the proposal complies with the Comprehensive Plan/Area Plan, Standards of Section 20-0906.F (1-4) and all other applicable requirements of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Steffes.  On call of the roll Members Palmes, Vigesaa, Fremstad, Morrau, Steffes, Wiley, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.

Item 4:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from NC, Neighborhood Commercial to LC, Limited Commercial with a Conditional Overlay on the south 51 feet of Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5; the south 51 feet of the south 101 feet of the west 8.4 feet of Lot 6; the southern 70 feet of the east 16.6 feet of Lot 6; all of Lot 7; and the west 8.4 feet of Lot 8, Block SS of Erskines Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 1117 and 1155 13th Avenue South) (Steven Stremick)  ACCELERATED:  CONTINUED TO NOVEMBER 12, 2008

This was the time and date set for a Hearing on a petition requesting a zoning change with a Conditional Overlay on a portion of Block SS, Erskines Addition; however, the Petitioner has requested the Hearing be continued to November 12, 2008.  

Item 5:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from GC, General Commercial to LI, Limited Industrial on Lots 1, 2, 4, and the adjacent 20 feet of the vacated street lying along the western edge of Lots 1 and 2, Block 2, West Park Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota. (Located at 441 and 501 38th Street South) (Brad Sather):  APPROVED

(9:32 a.m.) City Planner Mark Williams reviewed the staff report for the proposed zoning change and noted the Applicant hopes to have one zoning for the entire parcel.  He stated staff feels this change is appropriate and is recommending approval.

The Petitioner declined commenting on the application.

Mr. Morrau 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 LI, Limited Industrial 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. Palmes.  On call of the roll Members Fremstad, Wiley, Palmes, Vigesaa, Morrau, Steffes, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.

Item 6:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Conditional Use Permit for an Alternative Access Plan to allow for valet parking on Lot 23, Block 18 of Reeves Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 1405 1st Avenue North) (Phil Stahl):  APPROVED

(9:35 a.m.) Mr. Williams presented the staff report for the proposed Conditional Use Permit and stated the Applicant hopes to provide better curb appeal and plans to utilize valet parking as stacking vehicles.  He said the owner will have a managed onsite parking program that will accommodate the ability to successfully stack vehicles two deep.  He stated staff is recommending approval.

In answer to a question posed by Chair Paulsen, Mark Williams stated the first row of parking will be staff, with customers parking behind the staff.  He further explained that the Land Development Code identifies this as valet parking.  Mr. Williams noted the owner hopes to eliminate the approach/parking off of 1st Avenue North.

In answer to a question by Ms. Palmes, Applicant Phil Stahl, stated on average, the business will have one customer per day.  He noted handicap parking will be addressed by the curb cut as well as parallel parking in the front of the business.

Mr. Vigesaa moved the findings of staff be accepted and the proposed Conditional Use Permit be approved for an Alternative Access Plan for a Parking Reduction and to allow Valet Parking as it complies with Section 20-0909.D (1-6) of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Fremstad.  On call of the roll Members Steffes, Fremstad, Wiley, Morrau, Vigesaa, Palmes, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.  

Item 7:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Zoning Change from MR-1, Multi-Dwelling to LC, Limited Commercial on Lots 5, 6, and 7, Block 3, Town Square Village Addition to the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 3921 and 3957 Village Lane South) (Terry Stroh):  APPROVED

(9:41 a.m.) Mark Williams presented the proposal and stated the City of Fargo purchased the property for a future fire station.  He explained the MR-1, Multi-Dwelling dimensional standards are difficult to apply to a safety service building and noted LC, Limited Commercial standards better accommodate the proposed development.  He stated staff is recommending approval as all approval criteria have been met.

Ms. Wiley moved the findings of staff be accepted and approval be recommended to the City Commission of the proposed zoning change from MR-1, Multi-Dwelling to LC, Limited Commercial 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. Morrau.  On call of the roll Members Morrau, Fremstad, Wiley, Steffes, Palmes, Vigesaa, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.

Item 8:            Hearing on a Petition requesting a Conditional Use Permit to allow for Group Living as a residential use within the DMU, Downtown Mixed Use zoning districts for Lots 27, 28, 29, Block 1, of Roberts Additionto the City of Fargo, Cass County, North Dakota.  (Located at 630 1st Avenue North) (Bullinger Enterprises, LLLP):  APPROVED

(9:43 a.m.) Ms. Crutchfield presented the staff report for the proposed Conditional Use Permit and stated staff is recommending approval.

The Petitioner declined commenting on the application.

Ms. Palmes moved the findings and recommendations of staff be accepted and the Conditional Use Permit be approved as it meets the approval criteria of Section 20-0909.D (1-6) and all other applicable sections of the Land Development Code.  Second by Ms. Wiley.  On call of the roll Members Steffes, Wiley, Morrau, Palmes, Vigesaa, Fremstad, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle and Ulferts-Stewart.  The motion was declared carried.

Other Items

A)           October 22, 2008 Brown Bag meeting

B)           Rakowski Appeal

City of Fargo Senior Planner Jim Hinderaker submitted several documents for the Board’s review including staff reports, a copy of the approved Alternative Access Plan, the site plan review conducted by the Zoning Administrator, and a copy of the appeal.  He reviewed the history of the building permit (Permit No. BL20081741) process for property located at 1430 12th Avenue North, legally known as Lots 16-18, and part of the vacated alley, Block 14, Kirkham’s 2nd Addition.  He stated William F. Rakowski filed an appeal to the Board of Adjustment on September 2, 2008 citing that the permit was issued without meeting all of the conditions of Article 20-07 of the Land Development Code, with specific reference to Section 20-0701 (E)(4), which relates to Off-Site Parking.  However, Mr. Hinderaker stated, staff determined that the appeal body responsible for the review is the Planning Commission.  He reviewed the issues before the Planning Commission as follows: 1) jurisdiction – determination if the Planning Commission has the authority to hear this appeal, 2) standing – determination if the appellant was actually or potentially aggrieved, and 3) appeal review – determination of approval or denial of the original application.

City Attorney Erik Johnson stated he agrees with the analysis Mr. Hinderaker provided and said he believes the appeal is properly before the Planning Commission.

Attorney Jonathan Garaas, on behalf of William F. Rakowski, the owner of property at 1424-1426 12th Avenue North, noted his points of concern and said Mr. Rakowski’s rights have been intruded upon.  Mr. Garaas stated his belief that this appeal should be heard by the Board of Adjustment, and said the Planning Commission should not have granted the Conditional Use Permit for an Alternative Access Plan, nor should the building permit have been issued.

Discussion ensued.

In response to Chair Paulsen asking for clarification on the issues before the Board, Jim Hinderaker stated that while the Board of Adjustment is the appropriate appellate body for appeal of administrative decisions, in this case, another provision of the Land Development Code specifically grants authority to the Planning Commission and the Board of City Commissioners.

(Mr. Vigesaa absent.)

At 10:28 a.m. the Board took a five-minute recess.

After recess:  All Members present except Slagle, Ulferts-Stewart, and Vigesaa.  Chair Paulsen presiding.

Ms. Wiley moved the statement from staff be accepted that the appeal by Mr. Rakowski and Mr. Garaas, his representation, is properly before the Planning Commission. Second by Ms. Palmes.  On call of the roll Members Wiley, Fremstad, Steffes, Morrau, Palmes, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle, Ulferts-Stewart, and Vigesaa.  The motion was declared carried.

Mr. Hinderaker noted the next step is to establish standing.

Ms. Wiley moved the Planning Commission’s determination that Mr. Rakowski has standing to raise an appeal be established.  Second by Ms. Steffes.  On call of the roll Members Morrau, Wiley, Steffes, Palmes, Fremstad, and Paulsen voted aye.  Absent and not voting:  Members Slagle, Ulferts-Stewart, and Vigesaa.  The motion was declared carried.

Mr. Hinderaker stated the next matter before the Planning Commission is to look at the site plan as a new matter and determine if the standards of the Land Development Code are met.  He stated that on April 9, 2008, the Planning Commission approved an Alternative Access Plan.  He noted that decision was not appealed within the 10 day period as set by the Land Development Code.  He stated the issue before the Board today is to count the number of parking spaces, and if there are 33 spaces as approved in the Alternative Access Plan, Mr. Hinderaker said he believes the site plan should be approved as recommended by staff.

There was discussion regarding whether the site plan provided the required 33 parking spaces. 

Mr. Garaas raised a question about setbacks.

Chair Paulsen suggested a continuation of the appeal to allow all parties an opportunity to submit written documentation on all of the issues involved.  He asked Mr. Garaas to submit a concise, written brief outlining the reasons for appealing the matter, which the Planning Department and City Attorney will then review and continue discussion based upon those documents and responses.  Mr. Paulsen asked the City of Fargo to provide Mr. Garaas with documentation within two weeks.  He stated Mr. Garaas will then have a week to review the provided information and two weeks to respond, which will leave substantial time for all parties involved to receive and review the documentation before the matter is continued at the December 10, 2008 Planning Commission meeting.

As approved by the Planning Commission, discussion on this item was continued to December 10, 2008.

The time at adjournment was 12:02 p.m.