Plans for a potential new middle school in north Minot looked good Monday to the Minot Planning Commission.
The commission is recommending the Minot City Council approve a zone change from residential to public and a subdivision request from Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson. The firm is negotiating to sell the property to Minot Public Schools for Erik Ramstad Middle School.
The 20-acre property would replace the current 14-acre school property near the Souris River. The property flooded this past summer, destroying the building.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay for 90 percent of the construction cost for rebuilding Ramstad in either the current or new location, with the state picking up 7 percent and the school paying 3 percent of the costs. FEMA won't pay for site acquisition and infrastructure if Ramstad is built in a new location, though, because it has determined that the district could rebuild in its current location. School officials prefer to build out of the flood zone.
The planning commission also approved two separate requests that would add 18 and 24 residential lots in rapidly growing northwest Minot.
The commission approved zoning and annexation for Highlander Estates Subdivision, which consists of 14 blocks of single-family homes, twin homes, townhouses and commercial property stretching from south of 20th Avenue southwest to 37th Avenue Southwest. It is located on the west side of Green Acres, which is west of Dakota Square Mall, and near another proposed 75-lot subdivision called Magic Meadows. The developer, H & O Development, will be presenting specific plans for Highland Estates to the commission at a later date.
The commission is recommending the city council approve 17 lots known as Kopper Hills Addition, located west of 55th Street Southeast at Sunset Ridge Road, but only if issues of water management and septic systems can be worked out to the satisfaction of the city, Ward County and First District Health Unit.
Neighbors opposed the subdivision, with drainage as a primary reason. That area southeast of Minot has been a concern of residents and the Ward County Water Resources Board for some time.
Objections by neighbors led to a 13-0 vote by the commission to recommend the council deny a project that would add between 66 and 100 residences southeast of Minot.
Kadrmas, Lee & Jackson initially requested 33 lots south of 37th Avenue and west of 36 Street Southeast to be zoned for twinhomes. The city wants single-family development, and in that scenario, the developer would design for 100 homes.
The commission received more than 30 letters of protest to either plan. Residents voiced concern about drainage, traffic problems, topography disruption and incompatibility with the existing rural neighborhood.
"It's going to change the whole character of the area out there," said resident Charles Gasser.
"We expect that in time it will be developed, but we hope that a different plan can be put together that will better fit with the community," resident Chad Anderson added.
Dana Larsen, Ward County highway engineer, also raised concerns about road and water issues with the project.
In other action, the commission voted to recommend approval of a special use permit for a recreational vehicle park on property adjacent to Pure Honda along the 2 & 52 Bypass East. The RV park would have 65 to 80 lots.