Planning commission recommends approval of preliminary plan for subdivision of county-owned lot

This drawing shows how Pipestone County plans to subdivide the property it owns on North Hiawatha Avenue where the utility building is located. The Pipestone Planning Commission has recommended that City Council approve the preliminary plan for the property. Source: Town of Pipestone

The Pipestone Planning Commission at its January 26 meeting recommended that Pipestone City Council approve a preliminary plan for a subdivision of a lot owned by Pipestone County on North Hiawatha Avenue.

Pipestone County plans to create a lot with the Pipestone County Utilities Building which would be 4.99 acres and divide the western portion of the property into two lots, one being 1.01 acre and the other of 1.03 acre.

Members of the planning commission held a public hearing to gather comments on the preliminary plan. No one attended the meeting and the only comments were submitted in advance by Pipestone National Monument Superintendent Lauren Blacik.

Doug Fortune, Pipestone’s building and zoning manager, said Blacik was concerned about being able to see new buildings from the Pipestone National Monument trails, with the night sky disrupted by artificial lighting from new buildings and parking lots, and runoff from impermeable surfaces endangering water quality.

Fortune presented photos and elevations which showed that the buildings on the site are not and would not be visible from the trails and that the trails are not visible from the site. He said the land is not in the flood fringe or the flood path. He said that if plans for a parking lot were presented to him for the site at some point, he would require the parking lot to drain into an existing retention pond to the east.

Planning commission member Tony Koenders said he saw no reason to deny the county preliminary dish.

“It’s sort of a no-brainer,” he said.

Pipestone City Council is expected to consider the planning commission’s recommendation at its February 22 meeting. Fortune said that if the city council approves the preliminary dish, it will meet with the county to make changes to the dish that were recommended by the city engineer, Bolton and Menk, and approved by the planning commission, which include the addition of sanitary sewer and water pipes to the flat. Once changes are made, the dish will be brought back to the planning commission, and then the city will consider the final approval of the dish.

The county is requesting subdivision of the property so that it can potentially sell a portion of the land to the Southwestern Minnesota Opportunity Council (SMOC), which is interested in a parcel of land on which to construct a new Head Start building. State law requires the county to first identify land for sale and then post offers for the property. The county council can either accept the highest bid or reject all bids. By law, if no offers are received, the county could hire a broker to sell the property for at least 90% of its estimated market value.

The land is zoned Residential 3, which is multi-family residential. Fortune said a Head Start building would require a conditional use permit from the city.

Comments are closed.