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Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission reviews land developments

Development in Dickinson is bustling and Planning and Zoning Commission members reviewed several projects, including proposed zoning plans for 128 single-family lots and approved one of two special use permits for group day cares during a meeting at City Hall Wednesday morning.

Quentin Kitzan of Big K Industries, Inc., presented a rezoning request on behalf of P & A Rentals, LLC to change land north of Braun Distributing from general commercial to general industrial "in the inner most parts of the subdivision."

Dickinson resident Mike Armstrong of P & A Rentals said the area will be developed "in a very first-class manner for any business, not just the oil business, or any related industry that wants to build a building, or rent a building or lease a building. We're going to develop the structures ourselves."

Armstrong said the area is about 35 acres.

"We would like to start this project this spring and just trying to get ahead of the game a little bit ... and have some interest in those lots," Kitzan said.

Commissioners approved the request.

A sketch plat was reviewed for Koch Subdivision, which City Engineer Shawn Soehren says is located north of present city limit boundaries on 10th Avenue West.

The master plan for the Koch Subdivision is comparable in size to the North Industries Addition, an area of about 163 acres recently annexed into city limits, Soehren said.

Harvey Schneider of Toman Engineering Co. in Mandan, said a sketch plat for the subdivision contains about 147 acres and proposed zoning consists of 128 single-family lots, 81 lots for medium to high residential and 22 lots for general commercial.

Proposed platting would be completed in phases and the first subdivision

Schneider said the sketch plat layout allows for future subdivisions.

"We're going to proceed ... slowly and cautiously with small subdivisions," Schneider said.

Mike Koch, owner of the project, said the economy will dictate how fast commercial development will begin.

Jon McLaughlin, project manager for the Lamont First Addition, which encompasses an under-construction Hampton Inn north of Interstate 94, presented a preliminary plat on the development.

The plat is slightly less than 15 acres with the hotel taking up about two acres, McLaughlin said.

No decisions have been made on what the remaining land would be used for, McLaughlin said.

Two women came before the commission in pursuit of a special use permit for group day cares.

Cherrie Mayer, a day care provider for 15 years and owner of Tots are Tops Daycare, applied for a permit to increase the amount of children she cares for.

Presently, Mayer is licensed as a family day care and cares for seven children.

Commissioners approved her special use permit application to expand to a group day care caring for up to 12 children.

Dickinson resident Cynthia Ell, who operates a day care with seven children, also applied for a special use permit to operate a group day care.

Neighbors expressed concerns with the number of pets in Ell's residence, parking and traffic, via letters and phone calls to city officials.

"Whether we approve it or we don't approve it, the animal situation's likely not to change," Commissioner Scott Kovash said. "Just by adding more kids to her day care isn't going to add more pets, I would think. I realize that the neighbors have concerns, but those concerns are going to be there whether we approve ... they're there right now."

Commission Chairman Earl Abrahamson said the group needed to address how the day care affects neighbors -- their well-being, their right to "peaceful existence on their property," safety and property value.

"We're going forward from here, OK," Abrahamson said. "We're trying to prevent problems from occurring. We're not going to create a situation that adversely affects the neighbors, OK. There is a potential for that to happen and that's what we're actually trying to avoid is what happens in the future."

The commission denied Ell's request for a special use permit.