Of the regular meeting of the board of city commissioners held




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MOTION BY BEKKEDAHL, 2ND BY BOGAR, to approve the consent agenda as presented to the Commission.


Klug asked what the Holland America Line request is about, Koeser replied this is when the building changed hands, the City owns the land, and Koeser believes is to transfer the building to the new owner, Kautzman commented that the abatement form states Lot 4 lease released back to the City. Koeser asked what that means, Kautzman said it releases the 99-year lease agreement on Lot 4 with the City and the property had been purchased by a hotel for a parking lot and release them from any taxes.

AYE: Klug, Cymbaluk, Bogar, Bekkedahl, Koeser

NAY: None

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: None

CARRIED: 5-0


3. Bid Openings

4. Public Hearings

A. Zone Change from R-1A: Rural Residential to R-3: Lowrise, Multi-Family & Townhouse Residential for an unplatted tract in the NW1/4 EX CO & P1PTS & DDPTS of Section 12, T154N, R101W Williston Township (7.9 ac.) – Lumber One Development/Wegley


Koeser opened the hearing.


Kent Jarcik gave a review of the project and stated the purpose of the zone change is to allow for a multi-family development of apartments located between 1st Avenue West and 2nd Avenue East adjacent to 42nd on the south side approximately 8.0 acres. Jarcik stated it’s the staff’s recommendation to approve the rezone proposal contingent upon annexation and replatting of the property.


Jarcik stated that there were numerous comments regarding increased traffic, drainage, noise density, crime and loss of the rural atmosphere and concern of the annexation, if other neighboring properties would be included and if they would be assessed improvement costs.


Jarcik commented that the Planning and Zoning Commissioners asked for clarification from the property owner Mrs. Wegley about her signed letter of approval for the rezone request to R-3. The Planning and Zoning Commissioners felt there was too much neighborhood opposition to give a recommendation of approval.


Jarcik said it’s the recommendation of the Planning and Zoning Commission to the City Commission to deny the request for the zone change from R-1A: Rural Residential to R-3: Lowrise Multi-Family for the unplatted parcel (7.9 ac) in the NWNW of Section 12, T154N, R101W.


Jarcik gave an overview of the planning perspective, comprehensive plan, current economic growth of Williston, employer/employee issues as well as housing issues. Jarcik commented that a survey was sent out and 400 surveys were returned. Jarcik said on the survey there were a couple of items for public participation: 1) rank what are major challenges facing Williston with one being major challenge and 9 a minor challenge – the number #1 major challenge was housing availability of 194 responses and 2) housing affordability had 172 responses with a #1 primary challenge.


Ted Schmid, Chief Operating Officer - Lumber One, Avon Inc., and Tom Etienne, Vice President - Brutger Equities - Proposed Property Management Company introduced himself.


Ted Schmid gave a power point presentation to the Board introducing the companies involved in the project, gave some background on the companies and why this would be a benefit to Williston. Schmid handed out a packet of information of pictures from previous apartment buildings his company has built and maps.


Schmid said this will be a phased project having two apartment buildings built in the fall of 2011 and two built in the spring of 2012 and what each phase process will be.


Schmid commented that they are not looking for a tax abatement or tax increment financing but they are looking for the City’s recommendation for an easement for future expansion of the 42nd Street East expansion and they are not looking at anyone being annexed into the City or the residents to pay any of the costs to the development. Schmid feels the apartment buildings will enhance property values around the area.


Schmid said the tax value is $69,500 and once the buildings are built the tax value will increase to $10 million and the City will benefit from this.


Schmid commented that safety is a concern and all applicants will have a criminal and credit check, full circuit TVs and key cards and if a resident moves out their key card will be deactivated.


Koeser stated that this had gone to the Planning and Zoning Commission and it was their recommendation to deny the request but commented that the City Commission has the final say.


Koeser asked for any public input.


Bea Goebel commented that her house is valued at over $270,000 and she feels they are a reputable company but she is concerned about traffic and noise.


Amber Hoffman feels this plan is “ridiculous” and the reason they moved out there is for the peace and quiet and lack of traffic.


Bob Vershaw stated his assessed value of his home has doubled and he isn’t in favor for this project due to the amount of people moving into the area.


Tom Etienne, Brutger Equities, commented that he received several calls for people to rent rooms in the hotel because there isn’t enough housing. Etienne said he received a call from a teacher and she wasn’t sure if she would be able to accept the teaching position because there isn’t anyplace for her to live and there aren’t any rooms at the hotels. Etienne said this project will fit those needs for people coming to Williston on a more permanent basis. Etienne handed out an e-mail from Alisha David, Wal-Mart, in favor for the apartment buildings so there are places for transferring employees to live. Koeser asked about the trees in the area, Etienne replied they would make a great buffer and intend on keeping the trees.


Fred Goebel asked where all the run off will go due to all the paving.


Mike Smith commented that he is having trouble getting people to work because of the lack of housing in Williston.


Jean Fronsel commented that she has been working at the Candlewood since September and at 3:00PM Monday there was one room available and the Commission needs to make some tough choices.


Tonna Hall commented that she feels projects like this that are more affordable would be a benefit to Williston.


Fred Goebel stated that he built a home in the general area and if he thought it was going to be rezoned for multiple-family he would like to keep it zoned rural residential.


Jerry Miller commented that the Park Board has stated that there will be no more tents in the City parks and said the people need some place to live.


Kim Valope said she is opposed to this project and she would like to keep the neighborhood the way it is, although there has been an increase of traffic due to Wal-Mart and garbage flying around. Her concern is that her property value will go down and the property taxes will increase and additional crime in the area.


Koeser asked Schmid to recap how many units and people they are looking at, Schmid replied the proposal is for four buildings with 36 units in each building totaling 144 units but the final engineering plans have not been completed.


Craig McIvor understands that there are traffic issues and people moving in and this is a problem that has to be dealt with. The jobs are here and there are people wanting to work and there are housing needs and until infrastructure is in there aren’t a lot of options.


Mick Aberle said he is on the opposing side and likes the neighborhood as it is.


Ted Schmid commented that Aberle’s property is on the vacated easement area and that is the side they are paying particularly close attention to the tree buffer and the easement. Koeser asked how wide the easement would be, Bekkedahl asked if it was a road easement, a member of the audience replied it’s an alley easement. Schmid commented that this is a high maintenance priority for them.


Koeser called a second time for public input.


Mike Sullivan asked if there will be a one-to-one ratio garage per unit, Schmid replied there isn’t an exact count on the garages but it’s their intention to have 70% to 80% of the units to have garages. Schmid said there are 144 units so that would be approximately 110 garage units and the rest would be outside parking.


Chet Lund commented that he is the realtor on this property and although he would like to see the property sold and he states he has friends in the neighborhood who are opposed to this project.


Klug commented that there are a couple of letters given to him and one was from Clara Wegely, property owner, requesting annexing into the city and rezone the property to R-3 and then at the Planning and Zoning meeting she said this was the first time she heard about the proposal. Klug asked does she want it to be rezoned, Lund replied to get it annexed and rezoned it’s a paying proposition for the contractor. Cymbaluk asked if she is for the rezoning or against it, Lund replied he thinks she is for it. Koeser asked who the request comes from, Jarcik replied the request comes from the developer and in order to submit the application they ask for a letter of authorization from the property owner, which they received. Bogar commented that the rezoning would be contingent on the closing of the sale of the property so if the sale were to fall through the property would stay zoned as is.


Bob Vershaw asked if Clara Wegely resides on the property, Lund said she has a home there but it is leased out.


Kim Valope commented that she knows the property owner and she had stated to Valope that she wanted to sell the property to a single family so the property can stay the way it is. Valope said there was no mention of rezoning to R-3 and at the first meeting she stated she didn’t know this was going to happen and had no idea about the apartment building. Valope asks how could she not know when she is contacting a developer and going through a real estate company.


Linda asked where the kids would go to school, Koeser replied it is open enrollment and it would be up to the parents.


Fred Goebel asked if Granite Peak Subdivision is ready for development, Koeser replied yes there are a number of new areas that are being developed.


Koeser called a third and final time for public input.


Jean Fronsel commented that in her neighborhood she went through a similar issue but know she has noticed that the area has improved and the wildlife is coming back, it’s just going to take time.


Amber Hoffman commented that her husband works in the oil field and understand the need for housing and as the way it stands now where will the kids go to school since all the schools are full. Bekkedahl commented that people will continue to come to Williston.


Bekkedahl commented that the City has had requests from other property owners that they want to be annexed and have “good water” and city services but what the City has to do is figure out how to do all of that without going through the middle of their property because this area wants to be rural water. Bekkedahl states this is very costly to put all the infrastructure in. Bekkedahl said at one point the City may have to go through their property.


Hearing no more pubic input the hearing was closed.


Cymbaluk asked about affordable housing and what does Lumber One consider affordable, Schmid replied they’ve looked at various properties in town and they’ve tried to set their rent levels below that competition and rent levels would be, depending on unit size, $800 to $1500.


Cymbaluk commented that the developers have put in a lot of their own money and time to get to this point and the reason they can’t go somewhere else is the lack of infrastructure.


Bekkedahl commented that in past discussions regarding the property Owan developed came in and asked for a rezoned to R-2 for twin homes and there were a lot of objections to the rezone, but now they are glad it was done.


Klug asked Brutger Equities in regards to the key card system and renting to a company and wants to know what their thoughts are, Etienne replied that it is not their intention and there has been no discussion with companies. Etienne states this property is intended for families. Klug commented that that’s what he wanted to hear but it comes down to the “almighty dollar” and if their intent is for long standing individual families he commends them for it.


Bekkedahl asked Fred Goebel if the entrances “butts” up on his property, Goebel said they are off-set.


County Commissioner asked what can the County do to alleviate some of the concerns on 42nd Street.


Rolfstad commented that there is a lot of truck traffic on 42nd Street but wants to remind everyone that the City is in the process of rerouting the truck traffic around the City to eliminate that traffic through the City.

Rolfstad stated that the community needs to figure out a way to deal with this since the City of Williston is growing rapidly and needs these services.


MOTION BY CYMBALUK, 2ND BY BOGAR, to approve the Zone Change from R-1A: Rural Residential to R-3: Lowrise, Multi-Family & Townhouse Residential for an unplatted tract in Section 12, T154N, R101W Williston Township (7.9 ac.) – Lumber One Development/Wegley

AYE: Klug, Cymbaluk, Bogar, Bekkedahl, Koeser

NAY: None

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: None

CARRIED: 5-0


Koeser thanked everyone for coming to the Public Hearing and giving the Commission their input on this project.


5. Accounts, Claims and Bills Not Approved in the Consent Agenda


6. Ordinances

A. Second Reading of Ordinance No. 934 – An Ordinance Annexing to the City of Williston, Williams County, ND, that Certain Territory Contiguous Thereto and not Embraced within the Limits Thereof, Located in Williston Township, and more Particularly Described as:

A tract of land being the 89’ x 135’ in NWSW Sec 1, this includes S 41.5’ of 99’ L1 B1 Wrights Subdivision T154R101, Williams County, ND; a tract of land being the W 99’ Ex W 10’ of 58.5’ in L1 B1 Wrights Subdivision; a tract of land being the W 99’ Ex W 10’ of SO 31.5’ in L2 B1.


Koeser commented this is property known as Star Fireworks who have requested to be annexed.


MOTION BY BEKKEDAHL, 2ND BY CYMBALUK, to approve the second reading of Ordinance No. 934.

AYE: Klug, Cymbaluk, Bogar, Bekkedahl, Koeser

NAY: None

ABSENT AND NOT VOTING: None

CARRIED: 5-0


B. First Reading of Ordinance No. 935 - An Ordinance Annexing to the City of Williston, Williams County, ND, that Certain Territory Contiguous Thereto and not Embraced within the Limits Thereof, Located in Williston Township, and more Particularly Described as:

SEC 12, Township 154 North, Range 101 West, containing 7.955 acres.


Koeser commented that this is the property that was being heard at the Public Hearing and said it’s not the annexing that’s the issue but the rezoning of the property.


MOTION BY CYMBALUK, 2ND BY BOGAR, to approve the first reading of Ordinance No. 935.

AYE: Klug, Cymbaluk, Bogar, Bekkedahl, Koeser
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