AP City Council Discusses Special Zoning District; Approves Architectural Agreement For Design Of New Stand Alone Fire Station

Thu 11-5-2020

(Arnolds Park)-- The city of Arnolds Park is looking at establishing a special zoning district that would allow so-called “tiny houses” to be located in certain areas of the city. City Councilman Jim Jensen, who's also a realtor, says they've identified several areas of the city that could be eligible for the special zoning...AP City Council01 

"Well the Browns Cottages down by the monument has been an area of concern for years because the lots are very small and the cottages that are there are very small. And it's difficult to get city approval through zoning to re-do them. So what we're hoping is by changing the zoning from regular normal residential around town, we're looking at the possibility of going to a tiny home designation that are designed to be on small lots. And the hopefully it will not cause all of the zoning issues, the Board of Adjustment time, money spent, and actually get the area to flourish. The properties are very valuable down there, people love it down there. So we're trying to make it better. The people will spend money on their houses, maybe tear down the old houses, bring in a new tiny home, build a small home, but that's the plan, to make the area better."

Jensen they're also looking at establishing a new urban renewal area that would give an incentive to homeowners in those areas of town to make improvements...AP City Council02 

"We're looking at two blighted areas. That being one of them. There's another area that's down on Lakeshore Drive, kind of down in the Fillenwarth area that has some blighted properties also. And then we're going to wrap that into a TIF District and tie it to some of the lakeshore where it will generate good values as the new houses are going up, and then we can take that money to use in the TIF district to help the blighted areas."

The city council Wednesday evening referred the matter to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission for a formal recommendation.

A new stand alone fire station in Arnolds Park is headed to the drawing board. The city council Wednesday evening approved an agreement with an architectural firm to begin drawing up plans for the new facility. Mayor Jim Hussong says it's part of a project to expand City Hall...AP City Council03 

"Where the fire department is now is probably where we're looking at expanding the city hall into, so we would need to get them out of there. So we're looking at making the stand alone fire department just next door here, to the city hall, move them in and then we'll start working on the projects inside city hall itself."

Construction of the new fire station has an estimated cost of $1.75 million. Hussong says it would be paid for through a General Obligation Bond...AP City Council04 

"We've been talking about this for a few years now. Covid, of course, kind of put the brakes on all of the projects basically around the city so we're just kind of tipping our foot in lightly and just kind of seeing where it goes. Hopefully as soon as next year we'll start on the project."

The new fire station would be built on some city-owned lots just east of the Arnolds Park City Hall.