HJ/EDJune 19, 2006

Montrose council split on street extension

By Ivan Raconteur
Staff Writer

A divided Montrose City Council voted Monday to connect 2nd Street North and Charity Lane.

After lengthy discussion the motion to extend the street was approved 3-2, with Mayor Charlie Nelson, council members Jeff Petersen, and Cindy Beaton in favor, and Sharon Knodel and Dave Nordschow opposed.

“Sometimes you have to make the hard decisions,” Nelson commented after the vote.

The road will be extended through the former Salonek property, which the city now owns.

Some residents have expressed opposition to the street extension during previous meetings.

During Monday’s discussion, Fire Chief Mike Marketon said that the street extension should come as no surprise to residents, because the original property owners in the area were told when they purchased their lots that the street would go through when the Salonek property was sold.

“You have to look at what is best for the city as a whole, not just a few individuals,” Marketon commented.

Deputy Clerk Wendy Manson spoke in favor of connecting the streets.

“Speaking for public works, it (the dead end) has been a headache for years, and this is an opportunity to correct the problem. New developments would not be able to dead-end a street without satisfying requirements,” Manson said.

In opposing the project, Knodel and Nordschow expressed concern about the cost of the project, which Knodel said would be $52,000.

The council also discussed how the project would be funded, and approved a motion to hold a public hearing regarding assessing the cost of improvements to benefiting property owners. The city engineer will determine which properties benefit from the project.

Variance discussion

The council considered an application for a setback variance requested by Jeremy Bredeck, who proposed to relocate a singe-family home to his 8,500-square-foot lot at 111 Center Avenue North.

City Planner Bob Kirmis told the council that the planning commission, on a split vote, recommended denial of the variance request based on a finding that conditions for hardship and uniqueness have not been demonstrated.

Kirmis said that it was noted by a number of commission members that, although less convenient, the position of the home to be relocated on the property could be rotated to meet applicable setback requirements of the zoning ordinance.

After discussion, the council chose to disregard the recommendation of the planning commission, and approved the setback variance request based on the finding that the existing garage location creates a hardship and restricts reasonable use of the property.

The approval included conditions that the existing garage and the relocated home match in both color and finish materials, the city engineer will provide recommendation regarding drainage impacts, and comments by other city staff will be considered.

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