Planning commission OKs variances

NEW ULM — Multiple variances and a rezoning request for a proposed plat in the Fairhills Sixth Addition came before the Planning Commission Thursday.

The requests came on behalf of Prairie Land Development. The variances were for a side yard and lot depth regulations to allow twin homes to be constructed on property located between 1314 and 1422 Maplewood Dr.

The commission unanimously approved the variance. Similar variances were granted in 2005 for the construction of twin homes in Oak Bluffs 7th Addition and in 2017 for the construction of twin homes in Milford Heights 2nd Addition.

Later the commission approved a rezoning request for the Fairhills Sixth Addition, from Prairie Land Development. The request will change the property from 1314 to 1422 Maplewood Dr. from Agricultural Residence District (R-A) to Single Family Residence (R-1) and Single and Two Family Residence (R-2).

The property is currently undeveloped and formerly was a gravel pit. Property to the east is already zoned R-1 and R-2. The rezoning will allow the construction of the twin homes.

Staff recommended approval of the rezoning since it addresses a changing trend of the surrounding area.

Community Development Director David Schnobrich informed the commission that city staff was in discussion with Prairie Land Development about providing additional park land in conjunction with Fairhills Sixth Addition. Land was available south of the addition, which included 6.88 acres. This land included a storm water retention pond 2.53 acres in size.

The options are still being reviewed with the applicants and would be part of a later development agreement.