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Family Dollar to be on Preston Lumber lot

Fri, Mar 22nd, 2013
Posted in Preston Features

The Preston City Council at their March 18 meeting approved an application for rezoning the former Preston Lumber lot and an application for a variance for needed parking spaces for the proposed Family Dollar discount retail store.

Planning and Zoning had held a public hearing concerning the application to rezone the lot from I-1 Industrial to B-2 Highway Commercial. Both the current owners and future owners of the property supported the rezoning. The council unanimously approved the rezoning to B-2 as recommended by Planning and Zoning.

Planning and Zoning found that the B-2 use would be compatible with surrounding properties and it would act as a buffer for adjacent residential properties.

City Administrator Joe Hoffman noted the city code prohibits parking spaces to be located within ten feet of the property line which abuts a road or highway right of way.

The Family Dollar development application requested a variance to install eight parking spaces right up to the property line. Planning and Zoning had held a public hearing during which both involved parties supported the variance. The ten foot variance was approved as recommended by Planning and Zoning.

Hoffman noted the lot is triangled shape and is bordered by a highway or street on each side. With the variance the develpers should be able to install a total of 34 parking spaces. The plans call for a 104 foot by 80 foot building.

Twenty-14 Street Project

Hoffman explained that city staff met with the city engineer last week and identified and recommended two areas for the first phase of the Twenty-14 Street Project. The largest area would extend from Winona Street hill, the fire hall area, to below city hall. The work will include improvements to resolve sewer issues and undersized mains and storm sewer infrastructure. The second smaller area would include the Judy Lane neighborhood which also has significant utility improvement needs.

The Public Utilities Commission had already ordered a feasibility study to be completed for these areas. A rough estimate of the project cost would be $2 to 3 million. Hoffman said this size project would be about three times bigger than what the city has normally done.

Councilman David Collett asked if concrete would be considered as a possibility for the street surface. Hoffman said it could be looked at. Complete reconstruction of some of the streets will prove to be an inconvenience for residents. The council unanimously adopted a resolution ordering a feasibility study by the city engineer and a cost estimate of the improvements.

Other Business In Brief

*Public Works Director Jim Bakken was asked at the last meeting to gather more information about a proposed materials storage area for gravel, sand, and other materials at the City Shop. Bakken proposed the five bay unit be located on the south most site so there would be no issues with setbacks from the river and it would be out of the floodway. He didn’t believe it necessary to install a concrete apron in front of the storage area, expected to cost an additional $1,000, saying gravel should work. The city cost is expected to be $4,065 which is half of the total cost. The public utility has approved payment of the other half. The council approved the project.

*A resolution was adopted approving plans for in-town CSAH 17 work. Hoffman said the project should be completed this summer. This project will fall under the new Fillmore County cost share policy for county state aid highways within municipal limits. Hoffman remarked the new fifty-fifty cost share for curb and gutters, drive way, and sidewalk work is great news, adding the city’s costs should be less than what the city approved a couple of months ago. He noted the county will do the contracting.

*An agreement for the Trout Days fireworks display with J and M Displays, Inc. and a permit for the show were approved. The display will cost $5,000, of which the city pays $4,000, the fire department $500, and $500 will come from donations. This is the same as last year. Mayor Kurt Reicks suggested that the fireworks show keeps people in town and because it is the first show of the season for J and M, the city benefits with a longer show for the price

*Fran Sauer had sent a letter of interest offering to be considered to fill the open position on the Planning and Zoning Commission. Her appointment to Planning and Zoning was approved.

*Arbor Day is April 26. Jim Bakken said the city has been designated a tree city for the twenty-eighth straight year. The council approved a proclamation proclaiming May 2013 as Arbor Month.

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