Chair Mike Schell presided and called the meeting to order 4:00pm on Wednesday, April 14th, 2021. Committee Members present: Jim Wright, Jeff Erickson, Joe Faure, Bobby Koepplin, Mike Bishop and Bill Carlblom.
Others: City Attorney Carl Martineck, City Administrator Gwen Crawford, City Planner Joel Quanbeck, City Assessor/Acting Secretary Sandy Hansen, and Building Inspector Mike Blevins.
Audience members: Chad Petersen (KLJ) and Clyde Williamson. Attending by Zoom: Mike Strom, Cory Ravnaas, Kirk Olson, Chester Flath, Kevin Rohde, Todd Ingstad and other family members, Tammy Jacobson, Dan Larson.
Jim Wright moved to approve the Minutes of the March 10th, 2021 regular meeting, seconded by Bill Carlblom, followed by roll call and approval.
Chair Mike Schell called for Agenda Item 7 to be moved up to 4th position and other agenda items to shift down for better time management.
Public Hearing for replat request of Lot 1 Block 3 Waterfront Meadows Addition
Chair Mike Schell opened the public hearing. Clyde Williamson, who has property that shares a fence line with the Waterfront Meadows properties, expressed some concern about whether he would be able to continue mowing on the outside of the fence to discourage his horses from reaching through; Schell recommended that he talk to property owner Don Eberle about that issue. As there were no other public concerns Mike Bishop moved to close the public hearing with Carlblom seconding and board approval.
Schell opened internal discussion. City Planner Joel Quanbeck recommended that the right of way on the west side of the replatted, expanded property be moved down to the southern edge of Lot 1. Bobby Koepplin moved to recommend the city commission approve the replat with the recommended revision of changing that right of way; Carlblom seconded with the board in unanimous approval.
Public Hearing for platting request of undeveloped land located west of 117th Ave SE and north of BNSF Railroad, to be called Ingstad North Valley Subdivision
Chair Schell opened the public hearing. Todd Ingstad explained the family was creating three residential lots of substantial size; no development plans were ready at this time. Cory Ravnaas of Hylalite Engineers, representing the Ingstad family, added it was a straightforward application that meets Valley City’s zoning requirements, asking for fewer lots than what it there now with limited impacts. As there were no other public comments, Wright moved to close the public hearing with Joe Faure seconding and board approval.
Schell opened internal discussion. Koepplin asked how the property was currently zoned. After some discussion it was determined that the city zoning map showed it would be R-1. Bishop moved to recommend the city commission approve the platting request with Wright seconding and the board in unanimous approval.
Public Hearing for petition to vacate an undeveloped portion of 11th St SE adjacent to Outlot A and Replat of Black 4 Granger’s Addition
Chair Schell opened the public hearing. Kirk Olson had a question on if the vacation was for the full 11th Avenue or just a portion; Schell said the application was for just a portion. Olson asked if the alleyway would still be city property; Schell confirmed the petition was just for the street. It was also verified that owners on each side of the vacation would get half ownership with the city paying to replat to show the even split. As there were no other questions, Bishop moved to close the public hearing with Carlblom seconding and approval.
Schell opened internal discussion. Koepplin asked if it should be all the street instead of just a portion and Schell pointed out that was not the request at this time. With no other discussion, Bishop moved to recommend the city commission approve the request with Wright a second, followed by unanimous approval.
Public Hearing for replat, street vacation and variance requests of undeveloped land located between 8th & 9th Ave NW and north of 10th St NW – includes Lots 4-8 and part of Lot 3 Block 1 Hyland Park Addition, plus Lots 3-7 & part of Lot 2 Block 2 Replat of Hyland Park Addition
Chair Schell opened the public hearing. He noted that a petition had been submitted from homeowners in this area objecting to the plans; he added that citizens can affect changes in most instances but it won’t affect this property at this stage since it is zoned correctly for what the developer wants to do. Schell also said the petitioners asked for changes to the R-4 designation but that could not be done for just one property without affecting all R-4 properties. He said the petition has value but there are other proceedings that need to be done before anything can be done regarding their concerns. Kevin Rohde had questions about what he heard might be a substantial increase in special assessments for neighboring homeowners because of this project. He was also worried about the construction equipment having impacts on the residential streets. Mike Strom of KLJ, representing the developer, explained it was a private development fully-funded by the developer – there should be no extra special assessments to the neighbors, and the storm water would be managed on site. Koepplin said that if there was any damage to the streets on his property frontage, that would be a matter for the property owner and the city to take up. Rohde asked about sidewalks on his property and that the plans were too vague; Schell said that no sidewalks would be added outside of the development property lines. Chad Petersen pointed out the city ordinances state that the most direct truck routes should be used for a haul road and suggested a conversation with the developer should be had regarding that issue. Koepplin moved to close the public hearing with Wright a second and board approval.
Schell opened internal discussion. It was decided to take up the request in three different parts regarding the separate issues, starting with the street vacation. Koepplin moved to recommend approval of the vacation of the street with Wright a second and unanimous board approval. Variance discussion on sidewalks was next. City Attorney Carl Martineck said that the developer had not met the conditions of proving that sidewalks weren’t necessary, and that he was going to recommend to the board not to approve the variance request. Schell added that the City Commission had made it clear a few years back about the need for sidewalks in new developments. Wright moved to recommend a denial of the request for the variance with Jeff Erickson seconding and the rest of the board except for Koepplin following suit to deny the request. The board moved on to the replat request. Erickson questioned the need for another 36-plex, pointing out that the R-4 zoning allows only for up to a 24-plex. Schell said it may have been allowed in the past but at some point the board needs to follow their own regulations. He added he had no problem with the plat as presented with the 16-unit townhomes, but questioned whether they should approve it with a 36-plex. Koepplin said a 24-plex may not be feasible for the developer based on per unit costs. He moved to approve the plat as presented. More discussion followed regarding if approval would extend to allowing for the construction of a 36-plex or if that would fall on the building inspector when permits were issued. Martineck said that the plat could be approved if the size of the building was addressed. Quanbeck agreed that the plat should be approved but the developer needs to recognize the zoning does not allow for what he intends to do. Koepplin expressed concern about addressing the need for better R-4 definitions regarding the number of units allowed for multi-family dwellings. Schell asked for a motion to satisfy what they were trying to approve. Wright moved to recommend the city commission approve the plat subject to R-4 regulations, with Faure seconding. The board approved with Koepplin and Erickson as nay votes.
Public Hearing for amendments to Chapter 7-01 and Chapter 11-07 of the Valley City Municipal Code
Chair Schell opened the public hearing. Martineck asked the board to approve an administrative penalty for building without a permit, building without conditional use permit or variance if required, or building in violation of building codes. Currently the only recourse is to charge someone with a Class B misdemeanor in municipal court or sue them in district court if any of these transgressions take place; this would make the process more efficient and effective to endorse penalties. Schell had questions on why the planning & zoning board has final say on this as written. Koepplin said the board’s responsibility is to make recommendations to the city commission. Schell asked for Carlblom’s input as a county commissioner regarding how their board handles fines, and he said that the county building inspector monitors permits and enforces what needs to be enforced. Further discussion clarified that the collection of fines would fall to City Hall but there needed to be a board involved for the appeal process if someone wanted to appeal their fines. Koepplin asked if it could be tabled until further research was submitted. City Administrator Gwen Crawford said that she had contacted Jamestown, Wahpeton and West Fargo and asked how they proceeded and that information was taken into account. Wright moved to recommend the city commission approve the amendments with Bishop seconding. The board approved with Koepplin and Erickson as nay votes.
Building Inspector Report
Interim Building Inspector Mike Blevins had sent the board an email outlining current building projects; he had nothing else to add to that other than construction activity is picking up.
With no other items to discuss, Chair Schell called for the meeting to close at 5:23pm.
Submitted by: City Assessor Sandy Hansen, Acting Secretary