City board gives OK to Orchard Glen plan

A planned expansion of the Orchard Glen neighborhood in northern Fort Dodge won a needed approval from the city’s Board of Adjustment Tuesday.

The expansion plan would create space for 21 new houses. A new street called Dale Court would be built, while 20th Avenue North and North 20th Street would be extended. The plan includes a 10-foot-wide path that would link to the Fort Dodge Nature Trail.

The board had to decide if two of the lots in the northeast portion of planned expansion could be narrower than is ordinarily allowed.

The required width at the front of the lots is 48 feet, according to Carissa Miller, the associate city planner. She said one of the lots would be 31 feet wide and the other would be 30 feet wide.

The board voted 4-1 to allow the two lots to be narrower than required.

”They’re trying to use the natural topography of the land and not destroy that,” said board member Eric Ruttum.

A shared driveway may lead to two of the potential houses that would be set back from the road. Therefore, the board also required the developer, Orchard Glen LLC, to make that driveway 20 feet wide to accommodate emergency vehicles.

Board members Jeanne Gibson, Steve Hoesel, Matt Johnson and Ruttum voted yes. Board Chairwoman Susan Hayden voted no, saying she doesn’t think the plan meets the critieria for a variance from the rules.

”Because they’re choosing to put so many lots in there they do not meet the criteria,” she said.

The Orchard Glen plan still awaits action by the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission. Construction could begin this spring or summer.