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City schedules public hearing

By Staff | Jun 19, 2008

Minutes from the June 2nd meeting of the City of Estherville Planning and Zoning Commission were distributed to City Council Monday for a detailed explanation of the commission’s stance on Special Exception Use Permits.

Taking the floor, Steve Woodley, city administrator, said he attended the June 2 meeting as council’s representative.

“The planning and zoning commission feels there is sufficient protection under their recommendation,” he explained.

The minutes show it was in April that a recommendation was made to council by the planning and zoning commission to permit outside storage in highway commercial districts by special exception use and add possible screening requirements pertaining to the front of the property.

At the time, the board voiced its concerns on outside storage but noted the screening requirement would reduce visibility.

In response, council had reservations in regard to outside storage, with or without the screening enforcement. The issue was returned to the planning and zoning commission.

On June 2, the commission reviewed its zoning code recommendation and was briefed by Woodley on the council’s view and position.

The minutes read, “(Commission) Board members still felt that by requiring a Special Exception Use Permit each request would be reviewed by both Planning and Zoning and the Board of Adjustment on a case-by-case basis.”

It was pointed out adjacent property owners would be extended the courtesy to voice comments at a public hearing on a case-by-case basis.

It was further noted in the minutes, “The additional screening requirements would limit the storage area from being seen from the street. Discussion was held regarding problems with inadequate screening that has been seen in other towns and what measure they could take to insure that would not happen here.”

The commission’s meeting record noted the board believed its recommendation was sound and incorporated necessary safeguards to prevent eyesore situations.

Woodley said the planning and zoning commission has remitted the resolution to the council in its same original form.

Council proceeded with plans to hold a public hearing on this proposed ordinance amendment at its Monday, July 7 meeting at 5 p.m. in city council chambers on the following changes for an amendment:

In other business, the council:

n Continued participation in the Change a Light, Change the World program.

n Approved a grant agreement with the United States of America (acting through the Federal Aviation Administration) for the engineering on the hangar project at a cost of $51,888 (95 percent FAA and 5 percent city).

n Approved a detour agreement with the Iowa Department of Transportation for railroad crossing repairs on Central Avenue. The detour will use South First Street and South Ninth Street.

n Received an update on the South Ninth Street reconstruction program and was made aware of the Iowa Department of Transportation presentation on Wednesday, July 9, 5-7 p.m., in council chambers.

n Received the latest copy of eco@home, a booklet on how to conserve energy at home. Estherville residents may pick up a copy at city offices or at the library.