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Concerns arise over proposed Dickinson residential area

Residents were rearing their hands to show they are against a proposed residential area at the Wednesday meeting at City Hall.

"This is going to dramatically change (our area), and I don't think we are ready for it," Dickinson resident Kent Mortenson said. "People are even kind of talking of possibly moving from the area because of this development. This is just not right."

Seven people stated they were worried about the density of the development and were afraid of what it would do to their property, voicing concerns about erosion, landscaping appeal and traffic.

The commission approved a plan for Prairie Ridge Addition but asked the developers to consider a Planned Unit Development. Commissioner George Nodland dissented. The plat contains 32 lots near 10th Street and Elm Avenue.

Madison Engineering owner Chris Budeski of Bozeman, Mont., represented the developer, Karl Best, Snohomish, Wash.

The project has been in the works for about 18 months and has gone through 14 renditions, Budeski said, adding he reduced it from 55 units to 39.

Dickinson resident and municipal judge Bob Keogh wrote a letter with concerns about density on the lots. Dickinson resident Don Brugamyer offered a sketch of 23 units.

"I realize that the city of Dickinson needs housing," Brugamyer said. "If you would be more willing to look at a scale back development and pass on that rather than pass on the one that has been presented to you, I think that would be more acceptable to the people already living in the area in their single-family dwellings."

Mortenson also offered an alternate sketch. He added that it was nice to see representation from the residents in the area.

"There's a lot of people from the neighborhood that are probably not going to speak, but we all kind of share the same concerns in the regards of types of housing that are going to be provided," he said.

To save time, Dickinson resident Arvin Herner asked those who opposed the development to raise their hands. Commission Chairman Abrahamson said stopped him saying "We're not here to save time. We're here to allow everyone to make comment."

While Commissioner Gene Jackson understood the concerns of the people, the plat is in compliance, adding there was no reason to deny it.

"I'm not sure on what basis we would deny this," he said.

Budeski said they would consider the PUD, adding it is a tool that can be used by the commission and the developer. The PUD would be used to get more units on the site.

"I took all the notes of all the comments," he said. "We might come up with something better."

The plan must come before planning and zoning and the city commission for approval.