Planning for growthThe Jamestown Planning Commission heard from Ken Schulz, city councilman, concerning future planning for Jamestown growth during its regular meeting Monday.
By: Keith Norman, The Jamestown Sun
The Jamestown Planning Commission heard from Ken Schulz, city councilman, concerning future planning for Jamestown growth during its regular meeting Monday.
“There needs to be a master plan for the growth of the city,” Schulz said. “I know people say the city hasn’t grown in 30 years but my concern is that as we grow we have to have that growth be organized.”
He asked the Planning Commission to undertake creating the Jamestown master plan.
“The master plan is a map for what we as a city want to look like as we grow,” Schulz said. “It shows the Planning Commission’s recommendation for developments including streets and all public infrastructure.”
He also asked that the city expand the extraterritorial zoning authority from one mile to two miles outside Jamestown.
“The action to extend the zoning authority takes the action of the City Council,” he said. “It was attempted in the past and voted down and I’m only one vote on this issue.”
North Dakota Century Code allows cities to assume zoning regulation for a distance outside the city limits. Cities the size of Jamestown can assume a two-mile zone although Jamestown has only exercised the authority over a one-mile perimeter around city limits.
The suggestion drew criticism from township officers.
“This is not good,” said Duane Anderson, chairman of the supervisors of Woodbury Township, contacted after the meeting for comment. “We tried in the Legislature a couple years ago to reduce their authority to do things like this because of all the problems it’s caused in the past.”
Anderson said communications has improved between the city and surrounding townships in the past year but is still leery of the idea.
“Things are better now but I still don’t know why they have to go out two miles,” he said. “That’s a lot of area.”
Midway Township officers agreed.
“They don’t need to be doing this,” said Craig Neys, Midway Township supervisor and Stutsman County commissioner, contacted for comment after the meeting. “This would put almost all of Midway Township under city zoning administration. We, as a board, don’t want anything to do with this.”
Previous problems have included city building permits allowing construction on lots that are too small with building locations that cause additional snow accumulations on the roads.
“They allowed people to build too close to the road, which causes the snow removal problems that the townships have to pay for,” Anderson said.
Schulz said the city plans to complete a land use and transportation study in December 2012. The city master plan would incorporate that study and lay out a plan of how expansion would occur.
“What we want to see is that you are excited to take on the master plan,” said Mayor Katie Andersen, addressing the meeting Monday. “All meetings in this process need to be in a public setting so everyone can participate and the Planning Commission is a good venue for that. We need to plan for expansion so we don’t have a lot of obstacles as we go forward.”
In other business, the Planning Commission recommended the City Council approve a change to the Jamestown Hospital Healthcare Campus plat. The change was requested by Jamestown Regional Medical Center to modify some lot boundaries to facilitate the planned medical office building on the site.
The commission also agreed to schedule a preliminary hearing on the plat for Lakeview Terrace. This property is located north of the Stutsman County Fairgrounds on the west side of the Jamestown Reservoir.
Sun reporter Keith Norman can be reached at (701) 952-8452 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org