00-038-O

ORDINANCE NO. __________

AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A ONE YEAR NONRESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT MORATORIUM IN THE MINNESOTA POINT AREA.

BY COUNCILOR STEWART:

The city of Duluth does ordain:

Section 1. Statement of purpose.

Minnesota Point (also known as Park Point) is a unique and environmentally fragile residential neighborhood in Duluth. The city of Duluth is in the process of updating its comprehensive municipal plan but has not yet conducted necessary land use studies of the Minnesota Point area. There has been a recent surge of unplanned development on Minnesota Point. It is the purpose of this ordinance to impose a one year moratorium on nonresidential development within the Minnesota Point area of the city of Duluth to allow for the completion of land use studies and the development of appropriate land use regulations to regulate development in the area. This moratorium is necessary to prevent inappropriate non-residential development on Minnesota Point and to prevent overall aesthetic and environmental degradation in the area.

Section 2. Findings of fact.

The Duluth City Council finds that the following facts exist:

(a) The Minnesota Point area of Duluth is a unique residential neighborhood and a fragile, environmentally sensitive, scenic area;

(b) Minnesota Point has experienced a recent surge of unplanned development;

(c) The Minnesota Point area faces unique and often problematic environmental changes because of its geographic location between Lake Superior and the St. Louis River estuary and because of its unstable sandy soil;

(d) Land use controls that the city of Duluth has in effect are not adequate to protect the environmental and aesthetic qualities of the Minnesota Point area from nonresidential development pressure because no significant neighborhood planning has been done in the area for 25 years, and the plan then created was not adopted.

Section 3. Moratorium.

The Duluth City Council hereby places a moratorium from the effective date of this ordinance until one year thereafter upon nonresidential development of any kind in the Minnesota Point area, except as expressly permitted herein. Further, this moratorium may be extended in time as provided by law until a neighborhood plan has been established. This action prohibits all additional nonresidential development, except as expressly permitted herein, in Minnesota Point and places a moratorium on those provisions of Chapter 50, Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, pertaining to zoning, permitted uses, variances and special use permits for nonresidential uses in the area. This action also places a moratorium on the issuance of nonresidential building permits in the area except for items specifically allowed herein. The area covered by this moratorium is as follows:

All land lying between the ship canal cut through and across Minnesota Point and the government reservation at the southerly extremity of Minnesota Point.

Section 4. Exceptions to moratorium.

It is the intent of the Duluth city council that this moratorium should not impose undue hardship upon nonresidential projects that have been started or undergone significant preconstruction activity in the moratorium area. Therefore, the following projects are exempt from the moratorium:

(a) The Duluth Boat Club project to be located at South 12th to 14th Streets on the bay side of Minnesota Point;

(b) The construction of a hotel complex by the Sola family on the bay side near the ship canal for which they received an impervious surface variance and a street vacation.

Section 5. That this ordinance shall take effect and be in force 30 days from and after its passage and publication.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This ordinance imposes a one year moratorium on new non-residential development in the Minnesota Point area. Minnesota planning statutes limit moratoriums to one year with the possibility of an extension. The moratorium covers only non-residential development and exempts the Duluth boat club project and the hotel to be built by the Sola family near the ship canal.