The Fergus Falls Planning Commission green-lighted two items of new business Monday in a meeting at the City Council Chambers.

The board OK’d a conditional-use permit for the Lakes Country Service Co-op Level IV Learning Center after a public hearing. The CUP will allow for the creation of an educational institution within the I-2 (general industrial) zoning district on the northwest side of the city. The learning center will be located at 1814 First Avenue in the former Army Reserve building, which has been purchased by the Fergus Falls Port Authority for the purpose of leasing it to LCSC and bringing new jobs to the community.

The planning commission also held a public hearing on a request for the final plat of an 8.27-acre Legacy Addition parcel on the east side of Tower Road. After a clarification for one member of the public, the commission approved Interstate Engineering’s request for the plat.

The schedule for Fergus Falls’ 2020-2024 Capital Improvement Plan (CIP) was outlined by development and planning commission’s Ryan Miller.

Upcoming dates of note in the scheduling process will be introduction to the Committee of the Whole (May 15), CIP requests (June 3), planning commission presentation of Draft CIP (June 24), a public hearing by the planning commission (July 8), the City Council receiving the recommended final CIP and the 2020-2024 CIP post on the city website (July 16).

The commission will hear two applications on June 10. One will be for a CUP for Independent School District 544’s plans for the Early Childhood and Family Education Center in the former Target building at 2300 College Way. The other will be for a rezoning of the former nurse’s cottages on the north side of the Regional Treatment Center grounds.

City Administrator Andrew Bremseth briefed the commission on the hunt for a new city planning director, which was recently extended.

“I will say the number of applicants was alarmingly low,” Bremseth said. “I don’t want to take a pool of a couple. I want to see a good pool and interview a handful of candidates and make sure we get the right one.”

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