Duluth Planning Commission approves gas station restrictions, va - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Duluth Planning Commission approves gas station restrictions, vacation dwellings

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Gas stations need to be smaller in certain neighborhoods. That decision Tuesday night, from the Duluth Planning Commission, that passed a proposal that would limit the size of stations that can be built in certain neighborhoods.

Specifically, that can be built in areas zoned for mixed use-neighborhood or R-2, high-density residential development. 

Duluth's Director of Planning and Construction Services, Keith Hamre says city staff is recommending filling stations have no more than six pumps and 12 fueling points. Larger stations would be allowed only in more commercialized, less residential areas.

The revision stems from concerns raised last year about a proposed Kwik Trip station along Boundary Avenue, that had neighbors speaking against it. 

Concerns included noise, light pollutions, car pollution, and the overall look of a gas station in the middle of a residential neighborhood. 

Tuesday night, there wasn't much pushback from the commission. A motion was set forth asking to eliminate the building size restriction that was in the previous proposals. That motion passed unanimously. 

The commission wants to make sure the recommendations fit the area in which the gas station would be built. 

Hamre says, "the outcome would be to reduce the impact as we mentioned earlier with noise and light and truck traffic of filling stations that they could have. So wanting to see some of those reductions and make sure it kind of fits the scale of the neighborhood." 

The Kwik Trip project on Boundary Avenue could still come to pass due to a zoning change already approved by the council, despite what new rules the planning commission recommends.

The commission's recommendation will go to the Duluth City Council for consideration on March 26. 

It will then have to go through the standard two reading process and then could be eligible for a vote on April 9. 

If the council adopts the restrictions, it still wouldn't go into effect for another 30 days.

Other Commission Business. 

Also Tuesday the Duluth Planning Commission passed a proposal to limit on how many vacation rental homes will be allowed to operate in the city onto the City Council's desk. 

The Commission went back and forth with many questions on the proposal that aims to boost the number of vacation rental homes operating in the city from 60 to 66.

Many commissioners were concerned with the cap number at 60, stating that number is based off nothing.

One commissioner put forward a motion to change that cap to a half percent of owner-occupied housing units in the city, saying it would account to about 114 units as a cap.

The proposal with the recommendation will now go on to the City Council for a vote. 

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