Orchard Glen housing plan reviewed

A plan to add more homes to the Orchard Glen neighborhood in northern Fort Dodge continues to inch closer to reality.

The city’s Plan and Zoning Commission on Tuesday approved a document called a preliminary plat that shows how the new housing area would be designed.

The commission also approved an oddly shaped cul-de-sac and some on-street parking in the new area.

The proposal would create space for 21 new houses. A section of 20th Avenue North would be extended, while a new street called Dale Court would be built along with a new piece of North 20th Street. The plan also includes a 10-foot-wide path that would connect to the Fort Dodge Nature Trail.

The new section of North 20th Street would end in a cul-de-sac shaped like the letter T instead of a more traditional circle.

Round cul-de-sacs are required in Fort Dodge, according to Carissa Miller, the associate city planner. She said a round cul-de-sac in the proposed housing area would take ground from three nearby lots, so a different shape was designed.

City rules prohibit parking on streets that are less than 32 feet wide. The property owner, Orchard Glen LLC, requested that parking be allowed on one side of each of the new sections of street even though none of them would be more than 32 feet wide. Dale Court would be 28 feet wide while the new sections of 20th Avenue North and North 20th Street would each be 31 feet wide.

Commission member Denny Crimmins was absent from the otherwise unanimous votes to approve the preliminary plat, allow the cul-de-sac and permit parking on one side of each street.

The commission took no action on a recommendation from Assistant Fire Chief Doug Ostbloom, the city’s fire marshal, which would have required the developer to create a second way into the neighborhood or install sprinklers in the new homes. The intersection of 20th Avenue North and 15th Street now provides the only way into the neighborhood.

On Feb. 4, the city’s Board of Adjustment voted to allow two of the proposed lots in the new housing area to be smaller than the required 48 feet wide in the front. The board also required that a shared driveway leading to two lots to be at least 20 feet wide to accommodate emergency vehicles.