BY COUNCILOR STAUBER:
RESOLVED, that the petition by Dean Andress, 515 West Central Entrance, and six adjacent landowners (agent Beth Wentzlaff, CMRA, LLC) in Planning Commission File Number 07148 to rezone the subject property located on the north side of Central Entrance between Myrtle Street/Anderson Road and Midas Service Center, is denied based on the following findings [to be determined by the city council]:
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: This resolution is a counter action to Ordinance 08-009-O and denies the petition for a zoning change from R-1-B, One- and Two-Family Residential, to C-5, Planned Commercial District. The subject property is on the north side of Central Entrance between Myrtle Street/Anderson Road and Midas Service Center.
The Duluth city planning commission voted 9-1 to deny this zoning change following a public hearing held January 8, 2008, because C-5 is too harsh a transition from the commercial zone to the residential zone and the planning commission feels a transitional residential zone such as R-3 or R-4 is more appropriate for this site. Planning department staff prepared a report with points for and against and ultimately recommended that the rezoning to C-5 be approved.
Planning staff made the following points in favor of rezoning to C-5:
A. The comprehensive plan recommends “Neighborhood Mixed Use” future land use for the site. The zoning code has not been updated to include a zoning category to implement this specific type of land use. C-5 Planned Commercial allows both commercial and residential uses and requires plan approval for developments, allowing staff and the planning commission to try to incorporate some of the mixed use goals recommended in the comprehensive plan;
B. Immediately west of the property is a large amount of commercial development with the Midas Service Center and the Cub Foods end of the Stoneridge development. There is not a strong natural or man-made feature that serves to create an edge or break to extending the commercial development onto the site. The Anderson Road/Myrtle Street intersection with Central Entrance is a stronger “edge” or “break” for the commercial development;
C. Commercial uses are generally best located on arterial streets with transit facilities to provide good access to the site. Central Entrance is a principal arterial conveying 20,000 vehicles per day and it is a Duluth Transit Authority transit route;
D. There is good vehicular transportation access to the site. The Minnesota department of transportation has already approved having a “right-in-right-out” driveway to this property from Central Entrance. Myrtle Street/Sundby Road behind the property could function as a secondary access to the site via the signalized intersection at Anderson Road. Sidewalks along Central Entrance could be extended to the site as part of site development.
Planning staff made the following points against rezoning to C-5:
A. The proposed C-5 district is not directly compatible with the comprehensive plan future land use recommendation of “Neighborhood Mixed Use” (see the definition above). The city currently doesn’t have a zoning district to match the recommended future land use;
B. This rezoning will result in all but one property on the block being zoned C-5. This lone property contains a home built in 2003. Generally, zoning boundaries are usually better placed on rights of way or at the back of properties to minimize land use conflicts (such as traffic, lights, hours of operation, noise, etc.). It would be better if the entire block were the same zoning category. This point is mitigated by the fact that the petitioner has recently come to agreement to purchase the lone home on the block and intends to petition for rezoning to C-5;
C. Development of the property with a C-5 use will only be granted a “right-in-right-out” driveway onto Central Entrance. This will likely result in a second driveway to the property being installed from Myrtle Street/Sundby Road. Myrtle/Sundby may not be configured to handle large amounts of traffic. Additionally, three homes along Myrtle/Sundby will be affected by the additional traffic;
D. Myrtle Street/Sundby Road currently receives rainwater runoff from the site of the proposed rezoning as well as part of the Cub Foods site. This roadway already experiences drainage problems with its existing ditches which results in water flowing onto neighboring properties. Drainage problems could be exacerbated by additional development unless changes are made to Myrtle/Sundby.
Please note the action deadline for this petition is February 24, 2008.
Application received: 10-26-2007
Application certified: 12-31-2007
Action deadline: 2-24-2008