WHEREAS, a sufficient amended petition was filed with the city clerk requesting the vacation of the northerly and southerly 20 feet of 18th Street South between Minnesota Avenue and Lake Avenue legally described as the northerly 20 feet of 18th Street South adjoining Lot 21, Minnesota Avenue and Lot 22, Lake Avenue and the Southerly 20 feet of 18th Street South adjoining Lot 19, Minnesota Avenue and Lot 20, Lake Avenue, Upper Duluth (FN05044); and

     WHEREAS, pursuant to Section 100 of the City Charter and Article IV of Chapter 45 of the Duluth City Code, 1959, as amended, such petition was duly referred to the city planning commission and such commission gave due notice of public hearing and did consider same in public hearing; and

     WHEREAS, on July 11, 2005, the Duluth City Council held a committee hearing, and following discussion of an amended petition being offered, tabled Resolution 05-0422 and referred the amendment to the planning commission; and

     WHEREAS, on July 11, 2005, the applicant requested to amend the petition to vacate the southerly and northerly 20 feet of 18th Street South between Minnesota Avenue and Lake Avenue legally described as 18th Street South adjoining Lots 20 and 22, and Lots 19 and 21, Minnesota Avenue, Upper Duluth; and

     WHEREAS, on August 9, 2005, the city planning commission reopened the public hearing on and considered the petitioner’s vacation request as amended on July 11, 2005; and the commission found that said street right-of-way is not useless for the purpose for which is was intended, based on the following findings:

     (a)  As a right-of-way for pedestrian access to the lake, this right-of-way is used and has the potential for future improvements for lakeshore access. There are unimproved (well-beaten paths) public accesses to the lakeshore through this right-of-way;

     (b)  The vacation would be inconsistent with past practice (from 1990 to 2004) and policies of the planning commission and of City Council Resolution 90-0191;

     (c)  The vacation would be a significant departure from the precedent set by council Resolution 04-0697 vacating portions of 27th Street South;

     (d)  This right-of-way is used and has value potential for future improvements for lakeshore access, and the commission did resolve, by a vote of 7-3, to recommend denial of the amended street vacation petition at its August 9, 2005, meeting (referenced planning commission FN 05044).

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the city council of the city of Duluth denies the vacation of the portions of 18th Street South as described above.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution denies the amended vacation petition for 18th Street South on Park Point.

The purpose of the vacation is to enlarge the adjoining properties to facilitate an addition to the property at 1730 Minnesota Avenue to create a duplex.

On June 14, 2005, the city planning commission, by a vote of 9-1, recommended denial of the vacation petition, citing the following as it relates to Resolution 90-0191 adopted January 9, 1990, the planning commission and on March 19, 1990, the city council:

     (a)  Preserve lake and bay vistas.

           The “vista” toward the lake is impacted by exiting vegetation, the elevation and distance of the “dunes” between Minnesota Avenue and Lake Superior.

     (b)  Preserve access to the lake and bay for both Park Pointers and other Duluth citizens.

           This vacation would remove a well-established public pedestrian access to the lakeshore.

     (c)  Prevent overcrowding the point.

           Adding one additional dwelling unit, in and of itself would not have a noticeable impact on the point. However, with the potential for 30+ street end vacations on the lake side of Minnesota Avenue, the impacts could be noticeable.

     (d)  Provide visual relief from the continuous rows of buildings along the avenues.

           By retaining the existing vegetation and building setback distance for a new or expanded structure, the “visual relief” could be maintained.

     (e)  Provide for future utility corridors.

           The likelihood of future utility needs is remote.

On August 9, 2005, the commission considered and again recommended denial, by a vote of 7-3, of the amended request to vacate the street retaining the center twenty (20) feet as a pedestrian easement to the lakeshore and vacate the North and South Twenty (20) feet on the expectation that the adjoining property owners would record protective covenants, at the time of the vacation, which would declare that no obstructions of any kind would ever be placed within the unabated center twenty feet of 18th Street South.

The action deadline is extended due to the amended request.

Date application received: May 9, 2005    Action deadline: September 8, 2005