Proposed housing developments in north Minot drew neighborhood protest and divided the Minot Planning Commission Monday.
A proposed single-family residential project off 27th Street Northwest eked out a vote of support after running into previous objections from the commission and the Minot City Council and undergoing revamping by the developer.
Evergreen Neighborhood Development is requesting annexation on property north of Seventh Avenue and west of 27th Street, where it plans to build 33 houses as Northridge Villas Addition. The item was before the planning commission a second time because the council referred it back after failing to get the necessary super-majority of 11 votes for passage. The super-majority vote is needed because of the level of protest.
The commission, which previously had not looked favorably on the project, recommended approval Monday on a vote of 6 to 4, with two abstentions. The developer has revised the project slightly, with fewer homes and larger lots.
Residents Tina Langhans and Angie Bonness spoke for the neighborhood in raising concern about the traffic on 27th Street.
"Our residential street has turned into a corridor for all other traffic to go through," Bonness said. "Please don't make it worse."
Commissioner Wally Berning noted that the developer has complied with the city's zoning regulations.
"I don't see how we can deny their request. I think development there is inevitable," he said.
Commissioner Brenden Howe said that he understands the concerns of the people living there. But he agreed with Berning that it is difficult to deny a project that the city's engineers and planners have determined suits the area.
Commission Chairman Dave Pankow attributed much of the concern to problems created by development at the north end of 27th Street. Construction crews use the street, which has led to unwelcome traffic.
"I believe the city has a good grip on that now and has their procedures in place," he said.
Construction traffic is banned on 27th Street, although residents say trucks continue to use the road.
The other controversial development involved eight-unit townhomes on property owned by Minot Church of Christ south of the North Hill Softball Complex. Neighbors voiced concern about drainage down the hill into their yards, lack of a buffer and parking congestion. City staff also were recommending denial because rezoning from single-family residential to multi-family is inconsistent with existing land use and the future land-use plan.
The commission cast a tied 6 to 6 vote, leaving the final decision to the council next Tuesday.
In other business, the commission voted to recommend approval of two 76-unit apartment buildings being developed by Joel Feist near the Federal Emergency Management Agency group site in southeast Minot. Neighbors objected to extra traffic from the project, to be located on 16th Avenue, east of 46th Street. Current traffic from the FEMA park, a trucking operation and other area residents has deteriorated road conditions and created an unsafe situation in the area of 14th Avenue and 46th Street, where people are traveling rather than using the better developed and signalized 55th Street.
Alderman Blake Krabseth told the commission that he will be bringing the street issues in that area to the city council's attention.