2013-01-17 / Top News

Linton Council denies requests to rezone property from residential to commercial

The Linton City Council denied two requests to rezone property to commercial in a residential zone at its regular meeting on Jan. 4.

One of the requests came from Jason Kelsch of Linton, who had purchased a lot on Southeast 2nd Street. The property currently contains a house, but Kelsch indicated that he wished to remove the house and construct a storage facility on the property, which is in a residential zone.

During discussion, members of the council indicated they were not in favor of the request, since Kelsch already owns storage facilities just south of the property, and another storage unit (not owned by Kelsch) is also in the vicinity. The council concluded that there is a larger demand for homes than there is for more storage facilities in Linton.

Alderman Perry Kimble said he believes there are enough storage facilities in Linton, and the emphasis should focus on keeping residential property intact. With that, Kimble made a motion to deny Kelsch’s request to rezone the property. Alderman Dennis Morris seconded the motion, and the motion carried, 5-0. (Alderman Gary Hulm was not present at the meeting).

The council also received a request from James “Ray” Coffman to rezone property to commercial in a residential area. The property is located at the intersection of Northeast 1st Street and Maple Avenue, and contains a house, which Coffman wants to use for a body art (tattoo) studio. Linton City Attorney Donald Becker told the council that Coffman does not own the property, and any request to rezone property must be made by the owner of the property.

Attorney Becker reminded the council that they had turned down requests from business owners in the past to rezone property, with the exception of specialized professions that do not require extra parking. Becker said the idea of opening a tattoo business in a residential zone is not in the best interests of the neighboring residents, and he advised the council to deny the request.

The council members were not opposed to Coffman opening a new business in Linton, but they would prefer the business be located in Linton’s business district.Alderman Morris made a motion to deny Coffman’s request, and President Dan Imdieke seconded the motion, which carried, 5-0.

The council also:

• Unanimously approved three resolutions pertaining to the City’s upcoming water, sewer and street project.

Alderman Kimble made a motion to authorize the execution of loan/grant documents, and President Imdieke seconded the motion.

Alderman Morris made a motion to approve the loan resolution for the project, which was seconded by Alderwoman Tammi Sannes.

President Imdieke made a motion to approve the engineer’s contract, with a second by Alderwoman Shelly Hauge.

• Discussed the value of individual business and private lots within the City of Linton. Linton CityAssessor Shawna Paul told the council that she reviewed the value of all of the lots and properties within Linton, and she found that the value per square foot varies immensely.

Paul suggested making all of the properties uniform by evening out the cost per square foot on commercial and residential properties. Paul said the cost per square foot for residential property would be determined by where the property is located and what it can be used for. Paul added that the value pertains exclusively to the land, and not the structures on the property, and property located in a flood way or flood plain will obviously be valued lower than other residential property.

Members of the council expressed agreement with Paul that the value per square foot should be uniform, and they asked Paul to reassess the values of each property. They took no further action on the matter, but the reassessment must be completed by the City’s tax equalization meeting in April.

• Took no action on complaints received about campers, trailers or boats being parked on private property. Attorney Becker said the City does not have an ordinance that prohibits parking or storing campers or vehicles on private property, as long as they have current licenses. Becker also said that these items can be parked at the edge of the property line, and do not need a variance, because they are not permanent structures.

• Tabled its decision to have garbage picked up on the street year round. The council had discussed permanent curb side pick-up during its meeting in December, but tabled the matter until the January meeting. However, the council decided to table the issue until after the water, sewer and street projects are completed.

• Unanimously approved a Building Permit for Scott Wessner ($4,500 for repairs on former NoDak Mutual Insurance building on South Broadway). President Imdieke made a motion to approve the permit, with a second by Alderwoman Hauge.

• Unanimously approved a Liquor License Transfer from the Country Climate to the Emmons County Memorial Auditorium for theAmerican Legion meeting on Feb. 14. Alderman Kimble made a motion to approve the transfer, with a second by President Imdieke.

• Approved amending the 2012 Budget to include paying off the street sweeper loan, transferring money from the water and sewer funds to the garbage fund to pay off the garbage equipment loan, increasing expenditures in the street light fund, highway fund, and planning fund to cover the actual cost of expenses. The loan payoffs and additional expenditures had been approved by the Council at previous meetings.

Alderwoman Hauge made a motion to approve the amendments to the 2012 Budget, with a second by President Imdieke. The motion carried, 5-0.

• Heard from City Foreman Bob Job, who informed the council that tip fees at the Bismarck Landfill have increased from $33 per ton to $43 per ton. After discussion, the council determined that more information on the cost to haul the garbage to other landfills needs to be gathered and presented at the next meeting.

• Scheduled the next regular meeting for Monday, Feb. 4, at 6 p.m.

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