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Storage building proposed for changing area near Kohl’s

Commission recommends zoning switch

February 29, 2012
Messenger News


Messenger staff writer

A pair of Fort Dodge brothers wants the right to construct a storage building in a southern neighborhood one city planning leader says is transitioning from residential to commercial use.

Don and Steve Heddinger saw their proposal advance Tuesday when the city's Plan and Zoning Commission recommended that their property in the 3000 block of Seventh Avenue South be switched from residential to commercial zoning. That recommendation was made on a 4-1 vote.

The issue now goes to the City Council, which will have the final say.

The Heddinger property considered by the commission Tuesday is a vacant lot. The brothers hope to someday construct a small building to hold personal property there. That construction won't happen for perhaps years, according to Steve Heddinger.

''Our intention right now is to keep mowing the grass,'' he told the commission.

To legally put up such a building, the property would need arterial commercial zoning. It now has single family residential zoning. It is surrounded by both residential and commercial zoning.

Angela Torres, the associate city planner, advised the commission against moving to rezone the property. She said such a move would be inconsistent with the city's land use plan, which designates the general area for homes. She added that the rezoning would also be inconsistent with the Corridor of Commerce plan, which encourages the development of commercial property on Fifth Avenue South and Kenyon Road.

Commission member Jim Kesterson said the whole area around the Heddinger property is in the process of becoming commercial, thanks to the presence of the Kohl's store at Fifth Avenue South and 30th Street.

''We're in an attempt to bring new development to that whole area,'' he said. ''All of that property is in transition every bit of it.''

He said all of the land along 30th Street in that area has been ''targeted for redevelopment,'' and added that negotiations are under way with the owners.

''I don't find this use to be inconsistent with the transition of the neighborhood,'' Kesterson added.

Commission members voted to recommend changing the land use plan to reflect the growing commercial nature of the area and to recommend changing the Heddinger property zoning to arterial commercial.

Kesterson and Bob Campbell, Dennis Crimmins and Lisa Wilson voted "yes." Mike Doyle voted "no," saying he's ''just not a fan of spot zoning.''

Commission members Michele Johnson and Steve Kersten were absent.

Contact Bill Shea at (515) 573-2141 or



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