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Requests to vacate streets and grants variances approved

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in Preston Government

The Preston City Council at their September 17 meeting discussed and granted two petitions for vacating portions of city streets and two requests for building variances. Councilman David Harrison was absent.

Jon and Christine DeVries requested that the 300 block of Brownsville Street West be vacated. This section of street is not developed. The section to be vacated is a 33-foot section with city utilities under it. The city would retain an easement for electric, water and sewer utilities. City Administrator Joe Hoffman said there is no intention to build on this area.

Linda Hennessey emphasized the importance of easements, asking questions about her own sewer line. Neighbor Fran Sauer spoke in favor of vacating this section of street. The resolution was adopted vacating this section of Brownsville Street West with additional language stating the city retains easements.

Charles Aug, representing C & G properties, requested that the dead end section of the 400 block of Farmers Street West be vacated. The dead end street cut off by the Highway 52 new construction is adjacent to the USDA Service Center. Hoffman said the entire 66 feet would go with the lumber yard property. This section of street is 165 feet long. He recommended the city retain the easements as the city has water and sewer utilities under the street. Aug commented that the use for the street would be for parking spaces, which is how it is currently used. He added that the building to the north is rented to the federal government and they like to have a certain number of parking spaces available. There was no comment from the public.

A resolution was adopted to vacate this section of Farmers Street West with the additional language that the city would retain easements.

The property owners involved with both street vacations will have surveys prepared for the vacated areas.

A variance was granted for Jerome O’Connor, Preston Street NW, to build an addition to his garage with a side setback of zero feet. The ordinance requires four feet. The 24 by 26 foot addition will be up to the property line, just as the current garage is.

Planning and Zoning had a public hearing at which there were no opposing comments and one neighbor in favor. The variance was approved by the city council.

Shawn Severson, Main Street SW, requested a variance to build a 27 by 27 foot addition to his house with a setback of 13 feet to the east. The ordinance requires a 15 foot setback. His existing home is 13 feet from the property line. Hoffman noted the property is zoned R3, if it were zoned R2, the setback requirement would be 10 feet. Planning and Zoning held a public hearing. There was no objection to the variance. The variance was approved.

A resolution was passed to again participate in the Office of Traffic Safety Safe and Sober campaign. The Preston Police Department has participated for about 10 years. The program provides grant funds to pay overtime for DUI, seatbelt and speeding enforcement.

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