Council goes against commission, grants rezoning requestPublished 11:06am Tuesday, August 20, 2013
The Fergus Falls City Council Monday went against a recommendation from the Planning Commission and unanimously approved a rezoning request for a parcel of land in the 2000 block of Tower View Road to go from R-1 to B-2, or residential to business. The Planning Commission voted to deny the request Aug. 12, at the recommendation of city staff.
However, the approved rezoning request changed from the originally-requested three lots, at 2007, 2015 and 2012 Tower View Road, to one lot, 2007 Tower View Road. The lots are located just off of County Hwy. 27 on the north end of Fergus Falls.
Virgil Albertson initially made the request. It was his business partner, Cory Reinertson, who asked to change the request Monday. They bought a total of 12 lots three years ago, and the one at 2007 has been a tough sell, since it’s on a busy corner and power lines run through it, according to Reinertson.
“We are willing to copromise, and we are willing to go down to one lot,” Reinertson said.
They were approached by Livvy Ness, owner of Attitudes for Hair, who is interested in buying the lot for her salon after it was part of the fire in the 200 block of Lincoln Avenue downtown earlier this summer.
This area has been planned for residential use since 1975, according to Gordon Hydukovich, Fergus Falls community development director.
The request was met with opposition from neighbors. Last Monday, resident Randy Irmen presented a petition from the homeowners on Tower View Road who were against the rezoning. The neighbors agreed it “doesn’t seem to be the right fit for this neighborhood,” Debbie Irmen said Monday. Traffic safety along County Hwy. 27 was also a concern.
Others were worried about what this rezoning would mean in the future and feared the area would turn into a business area rather than residential.
“What happens when the next person wants to buy a residential lot?” asked resident David Gilles. “I’m a little afraid of the trickle down effect.”
After a public hearing, while council member Jay Cichosz said he appreciated the point of view of area residents, he made the motion to rezone one lot to B-2.
“I think this is a problem lot,” Cichosz said. “I don’t want empty lots. I want to support our local businesses. I think this one request is reasonable.”