FD planners approve road build waiver

A developer seeking to construct a handful of houses in northeast Fort Dodge should be allowed to do so without building a road, the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission recommended Tuesday.

The commission voted 6-1 to recommend that Iowa Growth Investors Inc., of Polk City, be granted a waiver from the city law that requires developers to build roads to serve their projects.

The company is proposing to build five houses near the intersection of North 22nd Street and 25th Avenue North. Without the waiver, it would be required to build a short extension of 25th Avenue North to the west of the intersection.

”They don’t need this to develop the lots that they want,” said commission member Jim Kesterson. ”I don’t see where there’s any enhancement to his development to have that road there.”

Commission member Dennis Crimmins said he did not believe the project would occur if Iowa Growth Investors Inc. was required to build a road or put up money for its future construction.

The company has reserved some land for the future construction of the road. City officials are negotiating with the company for the purchase of additional land which would someday be part of a road that connects North 15th and North 22nd streets.

Stephanie Houk Sheetz, the senior city planner, said a waiver from the rule called the subdivision ordinance may be appropriate in this situation. She said the road isn’t needed to reach any of the proposed houses. She added that no development to the west of the housing site is planned at this time. The road extension would be needed to serve any such development.

Six of the seven commission members had to vote in favor of waiving the rules in order to send such a recommendation to the City Council.

Commission members Mike Doyle, Steve Kersten, Jo Seltz, Lisa Wilson, Kesterson and Crimmins voted yes.

Commission member Kim Motl voted no.

”We’ve required this of everyone else building,” she said.

While Kesterson said he was pleased that the company dedicated land for the future road, Motl said doing that is required.

”He’s following the rules,” she said. ”He’s not just giving something away.”

The issue now goes to the City Council.

In other business, the commission recommended final approval of the plats for the site of a new Fed Ex Ground package distribution center in the Fort Dodge Industrial Park. The plats show where the building and utilities will be located.

Kersten said construction of the center could begin in a month.