ORDINANCE NO. __________
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 50 OF THE DULUTH CITY CODE 1959, AS AMENDED, ZONING DISTRICT MAP NOS. 12 AND 14, AS CONTAINED IN THE APPENDIX TO CHAPTER 50, TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECLASSIFICATION FROM R-3, APARTMENT RESIDENTIAL, TO C-1, COMMERCIAL, A TRIANGLE-SHAPED BLOCK OF PROPERTY BOUNDED BY GRAND AVENUE, SOUTH 69TH AVENUE WEST AND SHERBURNE STREET (MICHAEL KOSKI, WKK, INC.).
BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:
The city of Duluth does ordain:
Section 1. That Plate Nos. 12 and 14 of the zoning district maps as contained in the Appendix to Chapter 50 of the Duluth City Code 1959, as amended, are amended to read as follows:
(Reference Planning Commission File No. 07079)
Section 2. That this ordinance shall take effect 30 days after its passage and publication.
Approved as to form:
PC/PLNG KD:tmf 7/13/2007
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This zoning ordinance amendment reclassifies R-3, Apartment Residential, to C-1, Commercial, a triangle block of property bounded by Grand Avenue, South 69th Avenue West and Sherburne Street.
The Duluth city planning commission voted unanimously to DENY this zoning change following a public hearing held July 10, 2007. The commissioners based their recommendation on the following:
1. The proposed C-1 zoning would be an island of commercial in a residential zone made up of R-2 and R-3 zoning. There are C-2 commercial districts about one block away from the site, one northeast and one southwest along Grand Avenue, but the proposed C-1 zone would not be contiguous with any existing commercial zone.
2. The proposed C-1 district is not compatible with the comprehensive plan future land use recommendation of “traditional neighborhood” future land use. Traditional neighborhood is defined in the comprehensive plan as being characterized by grid or connected street pattern; houses oriented with shorter dimension to the street and detached garages, some with alleys; limited commercial, schools, churches, and home-businesses; parks and open space areas are scattered through or adjacent to the neighborhood; includes many of Duluth’s older neighborhoods; infill projects and neighborhood extensions; and new traditional neighborhood areas.
3. The comprehensive plan recommends that commercial or mixed use districts be concentrated along Grand Avenue, rather than spread along the entire length of the street. It recommends that they be concentrated along Grand Avenue from I-35 to 66th Avenue West and from the zoo to six blocks west.
4. If challenged in court, the city may not be successful in defending this rezoning decision against the charge that it is a spot zoning. The definition of “spot zoning,” according to the Minnesota supreme court, is a zoning change, typically limited to a small plot of land, which establishes a use classification inconsistent with surrounding uses and creates an island of nonconforming use within a larger zoned district, and which dramatically reduces the value for uses specified in the zoning ordinance of either the rezoned plot or abutting property. This rezoning could be viewed as an example of spot zoning for the following reasons:
a. The land uses on two of the sides of the triangle are residential and the proposed use is commercial and, therefore, inconsistent. The third side of the triangle has a church on it.
b. The C-1 zone would be an island of commercial in the R-3 and R-2 residential zone in this area.
c. Several of the uses allowed in a C-1 district would likely diminish the property values of homes on South 69th Avenue West and Sherburne Street. C-1 allows gas stations and retail stores which may operate 24 hours a day causing noise, traffic, and lighting effects on surrounding properties. Additionally, according to City Code Section 24-20, garbage may be picked up 24 hours a day in commercial zones, which also could contribute to a decrease in property value.
Application received: 5-29-2007
Application certified: 6-4-2007
Action deadline: 10-02-2007
Michael Koski, Jr.
PO Box 7216
Duluth, Minnesota 55807