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Zoning board approves final plats of 2 major developments

Graphic courtesy of GT Architecture This graphic rendering shows what is planned for the American West strip mall at 401 Villard St. W. in Dickinson. The Dickinson Planning and Zoning approved a rezone for the project — from general commercial to downtown commercial — at its regular meeting Wednesday. The rezone allows for apartments above the shops.

Two major developers are one step closer to building retail corridors in west Dickinson.

The Dickinson Planning and Zoning Commission approved the final plats for Pinecrest Commons and Dickinson Hills at its regular meeting on Wednesday morning at City Hall.

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Pinecrest Commons is a residential and retail development created by Minnesota-based Meyer Real Estate Group located between 15th Street West and 21st Street West along 30th Avenue West.

Dickinson Hills, formerly Dickinson Town Center, is being developed by Utah-based Dickinson Town Center LLC and is located south of Interstate 94 on 30th Avenue West.

Cash Wise Foods, JoAnn Fabric and Petco have been announced for Dickinson Hills.

Pinecrest has not announced any shops, but has announced a mixed-residential area including single-family housing, a manufactured home community, townhouses, apartments and senior housing, both assisted and non-assisted.

“The biggest thing that we’re trying to accomplish with the manufactured home park is to try to get some more affordable housing into town,” said Brian Bochman, vice president of Meyer Real Estate Group. “One of the big keys of what we’re doing in 2014 all over Dickinson is trying to come up with some housing options that don’t average $2,000 per month for rent, that aren’t $350,000 to buy a home.”

The commission also approved a rezone from general commercial to downtown commercial for the planned strip mall at 401 Villard St. W., the site of the former Sax Motors sales building and sales lot.

This allows developer Bryan Nelson to put apartments above the shops planned for the street-level spaces.

“The building is going to fit in very well with the downtown buildings, so it will look like it’s been there forever,” Nelson said.

All decisions made by the Planning and Zoning Commission are recommendations for the Dickinson City Commission, which has final say on on all zoning matters.

Zoning change approved for day care center

In an effort to expand to allow more children at its day care center, the Lighthouse Church of God requested a special use permit to allow a group day care in a low-density residential area. The facility currently allows 12 children, but is working to get licensure to take in as many as 38 children.

“The approval of this — all this would do would say that the zoning was there for it,” said Steve Josephson, planner for Dickinson and Stark County.

“This is just one step in the process.”

The church needs the approval of the city before its license can be approved by the state, said April Wood, who was representing the church at Wednesday’s meeting.

“Even if you gave the approval today, I could not take 38 kids tomorrow,” Wood said. “And, realistically, just because I’m asking for up to 38 does not mean there will be 38 children in the area.”

The extra slots could be used for employee’s children once they are done with school or are on breaks, Wood said.

There were some concerns about the state of the building’s fire suppression system from the Dickinson Fire Department, Chief Bob Sivak said.

“It is the opinion of the fire department and of the building code officials for the city of Dickinson that the entire structure needs to be retrofitted with a fire sprinkler system, not just the lower level,” Sivak said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission approved the special use permit pending the endorsement of the fire department. After that, it can move to the Dickinson City Commission.

Katherine Grandstrand
I graduated from Bemidji State University in 2007 with a bachelor's degree in mass communcations, from Columbia College Chicago in 2009 with a master's degree in journalism.  
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