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City error sets back residential development in Dickinson

The Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission on Wednesday pushed the timetable back again for a 207 lot residential development because city staff made a mistake, officials said during a meeting at City Hall.

City staff used a list of property owners from Stark County as a reference to send out notices about the public hearing to rezone Hillsite Mixed Use Addition, City Planner Ed Courton said. The list did not include Decker's Subdivision residents.

"We did not meet (the procedures) technically, but you could make the case that people in the audience are here," he said. "They weren't notified within the specific requirements, but they are here today."

Hillsite would sit on about 93 acres on the northwest corner of 20th Street Southwest and Highway 22 a half mile south of Dickinson.

The commission in April turned down plans for the development, formerly known as Centennial Meadows. Project developer, Centennial Estates of Dickinson, presented the plan as a 395-lot mobile home park, but residents strongly objected, saying the development was not "a good fit" for the area. Centennial revamped the layout as a residential subdivision.

The commission questioned who was responsible for contacting nearby land owners.

"The danger in proceeding forward is the approval of a rezoning request that is essentially invalid," Kolling said. "Then we would have to back up anyway and do it again to make sure the property owners are properly notified."

Dickinson resident Tim Priebe was one of the land owners in Decker's Subdivision that did not get a notice for the rezone. He did not object the revised plans.

"We think we can work with this," he said. "We don't want to delay their project."

The commission has tabled other requests because of procedural errors, Vice Chairman Tracy Tooz said. The commissioners agreed it is a needed project and "it looks good," but they wanted to avoid legal ramifications.

"Let's do it right and make sure that our T's are crossed," Commissioner Gene Jackson said.

The commission also tabled Centennial's request for a preliminary plat on the same addition. Commissioners could have approved it, but it would be awkward without the rezoning, Courton said. He suggested the Dickinson City Commission make a decision on annexing the land first.

"I don't think we should potentially handcuff the City Commission with respect to annexation," he said. "Everybody is making the assumption that the city is going to approve the annexation. Why would we want to approve a rezone and then the City Commission ultimately decide, 'No, we don't want to go in this area?'"