BY COUNCILOR GILBERT:
BE IT RESOLVED, the city council has heard the appeal of Marick Development, Inc., of the decision of the planning commission denying applicants’ variance request and that the city council finds that, by reason of (condition of land), strict application of the zoning code to this property would result in (practical difficulty or undue hardship) to the owner, that relief therefrom may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially impairing the intent of the zoning plan and the zoning code, that special circumstances or conditions applying to the building or land in question which are peculiar to such property or immediately adjoining property, and do not apply generally to other land or buildings in the vicinity and ___________ that granting of the application is necessary for the preservation and enjoyment of a substantial property right, the right of __________ and not merely to serve as a convenience to the applicant and that authorizing of the variance will not impair an adequate supply of light and air to adjacent property or unreasonably increase the congestion in public streets or increase the danger of fire or imperil the public safety or unreasonably diminish or impair established property values within the surrounding areas or in any other respect impair the health, safety, comfort, morals or general welfare of the inhabitants of the city; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, by the city of Duluth that the planning commission’s decision of January 10, 2006, is hereby reversed by the city council and the variances requested are granted.
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: Marick Development, Inc., applied to the planning commission for a variance to reduce the setback from the ordinary high watermark from 50 feet to 15 feet on the north side, 42 feet on the west side and 20 feet on the south side to allow for the construction of a construction of a two-family dwelling on property located at 3129 Minnesota Avenue and legally described as Lots 255 and 257, Minnesota Avenue Lower Duluth, and Lots 256 and 258, St. Louis Avenue Lower Duluth.
The planning commission denied the variance request as it was determined that the project compromises the purposes of the zoning code and the applicant failed to demonstrate the existence of a hardship. The commission concluded that the proposed two-family dwelling, due to its size, would be out of character with the surrounding development pattern. A previous variance for a front yard setback has been approved for the proposed dwelling and the approval of additional variances for the property are not in character with the neighborhood and the natural resources of the city. The commission found the applicant can achieve a reasonable use of the property through a reduced setbacks with the construction of a smaller building. The need for the variances are due to the design choices of the applicant which are motivated by economics rather than conditions exiting upon the land. The applicant has appealed to the Duluth City Council.
This resolution reverses the decision of the planning commission to deny a request to reduce the 50 foot setback from the ordinary high watermark for the construction of a two-family dwelling on property located at 3129 Minnesota Avenue.
If the city council approves this resolution it is required to state the factual basis for its finding in the blank spaces provided in the body of the resolution. Such factual findings are required by the district court in order to avoid a determination that the decision was arbitrary and capricious.
Pursuant to Minn. Stat. §15.99, the city council must act no later than April 21, 2006 which is 120 days from the date of application.
APPLICATION DATE: December 20, 2005 FINAL ACTION DATE: April 21, 2006