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Approval of plat could spur development in southwest Jamestown

The Jamestown Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat for the Southwest Second Addition, which encompasses the area east of the new Anne Carlsen Center location east to 17th Avenue Southwest, at its Dec. 13 meeting.

1-08-2022 Jamestown Southwest Second Addition
Jeff Romsdal, owner of Central Sales Inc., is the applicant on an application for approving a subdivision on block two of the Jamestown Southwest Addition. Contributed / City of Jamestown
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JAMESTOWN - An implement dealership that could be constructed in the area east of the new Anne Carlsen Center location could help spur development in that area, according to city of Jamestown officials.

Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said it is good to have any retail business moving to that location because the development of the area drives the construction of more roads and other developments.

“I think if there is a major implement dealership there, just like the hospital (Jamestown Regional Medical Center) and Anne Carlsen Center going there that can cause other people to want to locate near them. Either competitors or other similar types of business,” he said.

Jeff Romsdal, owner of Central Sales Inc., is the applicant on an application for approving a subdivision on block two of the Jamestown Southwest Addition. Tom Blackmore, zoning administrator, said in an email that the Jamestown Planning Commission approved the preliminary plat at its Dec. 13 meeting for the Southwest Second Addition, which encompasses the area east of the new Anne Carlsen Center location east to 17th Avenue Southwest. Seventeenth Avenue Southwest goes south at the radial T intersection with 20th Street and 23rd Street Southwest, which goes past Menards.

The next step is for the Planning Commission to approve the final plat for the Jamestown Southwest Second Addition before the City Council gives final approval.

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The subdivision of block two of the Jamestown Southwest Addition creates lot one and lot two and outlot A. Romsdal is looking to construct a commercial implement dealership within a portion of lot two in the Jamestown Southwest Addition, which is located to the east of the new Anne Carlsen Center location along 20th Street Southwest, according to the application.

Blackmore said an outlot is a parcel of land that is commonly used by a city for the city's interest and not for the construction of a building. He said by creating the outlot, it gives the city financial flexibility if a potential infrastructure project does not move forward.

In the staff report for the Jamestown Southwest Second Addition preliminary plat, it states that the preliminary plat does not dedicate right of way for a potential overpass at 18th Avenue Southwest, which is in outlot A. If right of way for the overpass is needed, then outlot A would be dedicated for the overpass. Otherwise, the city would retain financial flexibility to sell the outlot to a developer versus vacating the purchased right of way at a loss.

The staff report states that the subdivision is important because it sets the stage for future development and potential roadway system improvements in the southwest growth area.

“Our Land Use and Transportation Plan that was developed back in 2015 poised that area for quite a bit of commercial development as well as residential development,” Blackmore said. “With a potential overpass we feel that … would help spur the development within that corridor.”

Blackmore said the infrastructure is in place and ready to be used by multiple businesses and developments in the southwest area by JRMC.

“It is shovel ready,” he said. “ … A lot of times you will see hotels in close proximity to a hospital, to restaurants, retail sales, general commercial.”

Heinrich said construction of an overpass won’t happen anytime soon because the North Dakota Department of Transportation and the city of Jamestown do not have the same idea regarding that issue.

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“Our position here is we don’t want any more than what we have but we don’t want any less than what we have,” he said. “What we have right now is a westbound on-ramp and an eastbound off-ramp.”

1-08-2022 Jamestown Southwest Second Addition Overpass concept
This aerial view shows an overpass concept that could lead motorists into southwest Jamestown. Contributed / City of Jamestown

He said taking away the eastbound off-ramp at exit 257, which is a left-hand exit, and westbound on-ramp to Interstate 94 could potentially cause the city to lose some businesses along 17th Street Southwest.

“The economic impact would be very detrimental by losing exit 257 or the turning motions or the access to the Interstate,” Blackmore said.

City Engineer Travis Dillman said other alternatives for access to the southwest area near JRMC would be to keep the westbound on-ramp to the interstate where it is.

“One of the deals that they talked about is … if they would do an overpass, the DOT (North Dakota Department of Transportation) would have to realign the two interstates to bring them back together like normal,” he said. “And based on that you could keep 17th Street with a continued westbound on (ramp).”

He said another way would be to bring the same two turning movements but bring it just like exits 256 and 258.

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“You bring them up closer to the bridge deck and actually have a ramp going westbound off and bringing an eastbound on-ramp that you bring them up to the top where they can do their turning movement at that point,” he said.

Heinrich said having an overpass at that location with an eastbound off-ramp and a westbound on-ramp would be the best way to get traffic to and from that new development area.

Dillman said other transportation-related improvements to help spur development in the southwest area include constructing a paved road south on 17th Avenue Southwest. From there a road could be paved east on 25th Street Southwest or on 37th Street Southeast to U.S. Highway 281 and past Country Acres Veterinary Clinic, which is outside city limits.

“Ultimately what I think is going to happen is you are going to start to get that development to kind of grow from the northeast to the southwest or north to south, however you want to look at it, because you are going to start to build your infrastructure out to accommodate that,” he said.

Blackmore said there are two processes for annexation. One would be a property owner requesting his or her property to be annexed into the city, and the other would be the city initiating the annexation and working with property owners.

Dillman said more access to the southwest area spurs development.

“The other benefit is not just that access but it helps alleviate some of the strain we have already have on (U.S. Highway) 281 and 25th, that old Perkins, Applebee’s, you know there, there’s a lot of strain on that too,” he said. “So this could help alleviate some of the stress at our other locations.”

Heinrich said one issue in getting roads constructed is funding.

“There aren't just millions of dollars to go build roads … without a way to pay for them,” he said. “Generally the developers are the ones who are involved in part of that.”

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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