Blaine planning commission delays zoning change recommendation

Published on Wed, Nov 2, 2011 by Jeremy Schwartz

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Blaine planning staff are recommending zoning changes to the land between D Street and the truck route, and the city’s planning commission is giving the public more time to comment on the issue.

The land in question is currently zoned for light manufacturing or commercial use, but Blaine planning staff say this designation no longer makes sense with the new access limitations. Planning staff are recommending the land’s zoning be changed to reflect the area’s primarily residential surroundings.

At its October 27 meeting, the Blaine planning commission held a public hearing to gather public input on the proposed zoning change. This hearing followed an October 19 public meeting at which the majority of the approximately 50 attendees agreed with the proposed change.

Blaine planning staff are recommending four specific changes to the area’s zoning:

• The area between D Street, the C Street right-of-way, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned to medium residential density  from zoning that allows both residential and commercial uses.

• The area between the C Street right-of-way, B Street, 14th Street and 15th Street should be rezoned from low residential density to medium residential density.

• The area on the north side of the 1500 block of H Street to Lincoln Park where the General Services Administration facility is should be rezoned from medium residential density to public use.

• The area adjacent to 14th Street and E Street should be rezoned from light manufacturing and commercial zoning to zoning that allows for a number of commercial uses, such as hotels and restaurants, but not manufacturing.

In addition to the zoning changes, Blaine planning staff are proposing changes to the area’s comprehensive plan that will keep 14th Street, which runs north/south, from connecting to H Street for the foreseeable future. Blaine community planner Alex Wenger said residents in the area have expressed concern that 14th Street would become too congested if it connected to H Street.

The commission had planned to vote on recommending the changes to the city council, but opted to delay the vote to allow the commissioners more time to consider the issue. Planning commission chair Ken Oplinger said the written public record will remain open until noon on November 10 so the public can still send written comments to the planning commissioners.

The next Blaine Planning Commission meeting will start at 7 p.m., on Thursday, November 10 in the Blaine City Council chambers. Prior to the meeting the commission will discuss the zoning changes in a 5:30 p.m. work session, which the public is welcome to attend.