City commission approves three variances

HURON — Three variance requests took the majority of the time that Huron city commissioners deliberated Monday evening, as the rest of the agenda moved very quickly.

The first variance was filed by Barry Mack at 885 Parkside Dr., to build an addition to the attached garage on the property. The proposed addition is closer to the edge of the road than setbacks would allow. The hearing examiner and city planner both suggested approval, and commissioners followed suit.

The second variance was filed by The New Plains, Inc. at 960 Fourth St. N.E., to allow interior and exterior storage units on the property as zoning currently does not permit storage units on the property. While commissioners did not express concerns with the interior storage units on the property, commissioner Rich Bragg asked questions regarding the appearance of the proposed buildings due to potential building in the area that has been proposed.

After discussion on the current recommendations of the hearing examiner that an engineering review be done of the plans for exterior storage units before they are constructed, the commissioners voted unanimously to approve the variance.

The final variance of the evening was regarding a project by Jeff Powell at 143 and 147 Dakota Ave. S.

The project is to renovate a building that was previously a hotel to be utilized as apartments, Air BNB units, or short-term stay units. The variance had three parts — the conditional use permit for the building to be used as requested, approval for dwelling units to be smaller than current code due to restrictions presented by the current building layout, and approval to have less than a 1-to-1 on-site parking ratio.

The conditional use was quickly agreed upon by commissioners, and once explanation of the restrictions of the building were given, the size of the dwellings was also agreed upon. City planner Barry Cranston did display that a shared use of city lot parking could be considered in the parking makeup for the project, and he showed that the parking at City Hall is within the required distance from the proposed project.

With this information, commissioners approved the project unanimously.

Assistant engineer Dennis Bennett presented a bid for approval on a skid steer loader for the street department through Sourcewell. The budget for the loader was $47,500 and the bid was $51,085.98, but Bennett explained that other components with the loader were bid under budget, so this would balance out.

City attorney Tucker Volesky presented the first reading of Ordinance No. 2231-23-406 to create a zoning ordinance regarding the R-5 multi-family district that had been originally approved in the joint jurisdiction in 2003 but never added to the zoning ordinances. The second reading will be Dec. 6.

Volesky also read the second reading of the new health insurance ordinance for city employees.

Commissioners also:
• Accepted the resignation of Sheldon Strote from the Police Officer position.
• Accepted the resignation of Alisha Reinhart from the Circulation Desk Manager position.
• Approved posting and advertising for a Circulation Desk Manager position.
• Approved the transfer of Glenda Maxted to the Cataloger position at the library.
• Approved the pay increase of Tanner Dornacher due to completion of FTO training.
• Approved the termination of seasonal Broadland Creek Golf employees.
• Accepted and approved the 2020 audited financials.

Mayor Gary Harrington announced that city offices will be closed Nov. 25 and 26 to observe the Thanksgiving holiday.

Commissioner Bragg read the Solid Waste Department Thanksgiving schedule announcement that Thursday and Friday collections will both be done on Wednesday.

The commission ended the meeting in executive session.


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