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Planning Commission tables two requests

The owner of the old Beulah Camp in northwest Jamestown has requested a zoning change for the property. Dean Hafner wants to develop the area into residential housing. John M. Steiner / The Sun

A request to change the zoning of the former Beulah Camp location from park/open space/recreation to low density residential housing drew fire from residents across the river Monday at the Jamestown Planning Commission meeting.

Dean Hafner, local real estate developer, purchased the old Bible camp property from the city of Jamestown in 2011. He requested the change from public/open development/conservation to residential for the property, which is located at 901 4th Ave. NW. Hafner's application says single-family homes and twin homes would be constructed on the property if the zoning is changed.

Residents living across the river west from the property said developing the area with houses would reduce the value of their property by eliminating the peaceful nature of the area, drive wildlife from the area, and could potentially cause flooding problems for their properties.

Scott Harmstead, planner for SRF Consulting, which prepared a review of the request, said Hafner would need a letter of map revision from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers changing what property is within the floodplain.

Hafner said he had been in contact with the Corps and did not need that document as long as he did not change the riverbanks or terrain of the property and built the houses at least 1 foot above the floodplain level.

Residents across the river said they would take legal action if the development increased river levels on their side of the river.

"You better really look into that water situation," said Larry Readel, area resident. "If I start getting water, somebody is going to pay for it, I'm not."

Dan Aasmundstad, who also lives in the area, challenged Hafner to donate the land for a park.

"You're rich," he said. "You're a millionaire."

Jeff Fuchs, city administrator, intervened in the residents' discussion to remind people to address their comments to the Planning Commission rather than at each other.

The Planning Commission tabled the request and asked for a copy of communications from the Corps regarding any restrictions it would place on housing on the property.

The Planning Commission also tabled a plat change for R.H. Rebel Addition located on the east side of U.S. Highway 52 between 16th and 18th Streets Northwest.

Scott Bintz, property owner in the area, requested the plat change to merge existing lots he owned to make the area more conducive for development.

Dean Tracy, a property owner in the area, objected to the plat change. Tracy said the new plat would increase the importance of 18th Street Northwest.

Tracy owns property on both sides of 18th Street Northwest, and said he had plans to request vacating the street at the time he developed his property.

"I would rather 10th Avenue Northwest be used for access," he said.

The Planning Commission tabled the plat request and asked the parties involved and the engineers they work with to seek an agreement.

The Planning Commission approved a zoning change for the property adjacent to the planned road between the Menards area and Jamestown Regional Medical Center owned by John Corell. A portion of the property is already zoned for commercial development while the southern part is zoned agriculture. The zoning change will change the zoning of the entire project to commercial.