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Planning Commission recommends rezoning for Annabelle Highlands proposal and Gooseneck Implement

The Kenmare Planning Commission recommended the Kenmare City Council approve two re-zoning requests during a meeting held June 27.

7/06/11 (Wed)

 

By Caroline Downs
 
The Kenmare Planning Commission recommended the Kenmare City Council approve two re-zoning requests during a meeting held June 27.
 
The first request addressed was submitted from Jim Jorgenson to change the zoning from agricultural to residential and commercial on a tract of unplatted agricultural property.
 
The tract in question is of interest to developer Annabelle Homes and includes land east of U.S. Highway 52, south of County Road 2, west of 492nd Street, and north of Soo Street, to be called Annabelle Highlands.
 
The Planning Commission’s recommendation came after a great deal of discussion and comments from the public, with several concerns raised about the construction of a new baseball field on that tract and the safety of children potentially crossing Highway 52 to attend school or practice and games at the field, with traffic traveling at 45 mph.
 
Gary Hager, manager of the Upper Souris Water District, objected to the request and asked the Planning Commission to table any action until the water district and the city of Kenmare could reach an agreement that would allow Upper Souris Water District to service 16 rural customers in the area.
 
Currently, the water lines for Upper Souris Water District are located on that tract. The water district also has the legal and territorial rights to serve those customers.
 
Hank Bodmer spoke on behalf of the Kenmare Airport Authority about the location of the airport and the potential for noise complaints in the future. “We’re zoned for the airport already,” he said, adding that potential buyers for homes to be built in that area should be aware of the presence of aerial sprayers and other planes.
 
Commission members and the audience talked about the possibility of installing a traffic light, flashing lights, reduced speed limits and an overpass to address safety concerns, but any of those options would require approval from state and federal transportation agencies.
 
Kenmare city engineer Ryan Ackerman reminded the commission that their recommendation was the first step in a process that included more steps taken by the City Council and the mayor, with time left to address some of those concerns in the coming weeks while still allowing the Annabelle Highlands project to move forward. “This is the issue this board has to decide,” he said. “Do you want the housing or don’t you?”
 
“At our last meeting, the people speaking from Annabelle Homes convinced me this was the right way to go, but now I’m not so sure about that,” said Commission member Alan Munson.
 
Ackerman did explain a list of 13 conditions he would recommend be met by Annabelle Homes regarding the plat. Several of those were related to existing city building ordinances, easements needed, dimensions for city streets and relocation of the NAWS water line, which would be paid by the developers. Commission members agreed with the conditions presented.
 
The proposed development would include single family homes, a series of townhomes and commercial property built along U.S. 52. Ackerman referred to the population study commissioned earlier this spring by the city of Kenmare and the increase projected for the city up to an estimated 1800 residents through the year 2025. “In order to accommodate that type of growth, the city will have to expand to the east,” he said.
 
“And there are different types of housing that we need,” added Kenmare mayor Roger Ness. “We have lots of different needs, and that’s what we’re trying to meet.”
 
Ackerman noted the blend of commercial and residential lots proposed by Annabelle Homes would be a good use of the property along Highway 52.
 
Mark Domino, senior project manager with Bundled Builder Solutions Inc. and contractor for the Annabelle Highlands project, said he wanted to hear the community’s concerns. “We want to find out what you want,” he said.
 
He also submitted a revised site plan for the Kenmare project that already addressed some of the conditions Ackerman recommended for the preliminary plat.
 
Commission members approved Duane Sandberg’s motion to recommend changing the zoning from agricultural to commercial and residential for the land in question. They also went on record requesting the city council to address the concerns about water service and safety expressed during the meeting.
 
The second request heard addressed property purchased by Gooseneck Implement east of Highway 52, south of the Kenmare Municipal Airport, west of 478th Street and north of 408th Avenue.
 
The property is currently zoned as agricultural, with a request for one of the two outlots, at 40 acres, to be zoned as commercial. The second outlot, at 94.77 acres, would remain agricultural.
 
Hager said the Upper Souris Water District was opposed to the rezoning request until the water service issues could be resolved with the city of Kenmare.
 
Commission members approved the request on a unanimous vote.
 
Man camp set up
for railroad employees
Commission members asked for clarification regarding the 10 self-contained housing units being installed on property north of the landfill.
 
Ness and city employee Mike Thompson explained the land was zoned industrial, and the units were being erected by Canadian Pacific Railway to house their crews for a period of four months while work was done on the rail line in the area.
 
Commission chairman Brad Kjos reported that CP Railway purchased a permit, and Sandberg noted the company had cleaned up the area before beginning construction.
 
Thompson reported the company had also restored the road to the property before moving in the begin their work.
 
In other business:
• The Commission approved two building permit requests.