Where to build? Fort Dodge takes a closer looks at potential sites for new multi-family housing

Harvey suggests city find 50 to 100 acres for housing

-Messenger graphic
This map shows areas within Fort Dodge that have been identified by the city planning staff as potential locations for future construction of apartment buildings.

The city’s strategic planner told the Fort Dodge City Council Monday that she is recommending that the city find 50 to 100 acres to be developed for multi-family housing.

Carissa Harvey, Fort Dodge strategic planner, made a presentation to the Fort Dodge City Council during a workshop session Monday.

In her report, Harvey identified eight locations in Fort Dodge that could potentially be developed into apartments to help alleviate the city’s need for more housing.

Harvey used a planning document known as the future land use map to identify the locations.

“We looked at adjacent city land uses, positive or negative implications that could result from changing this land use to multi-family, access concerns, sanitary sewer concerns, storm sewer concerns,” she said. “Within the text of the report, we went into detail of some other considerations that might be considered.”

Harvey highlighted all eight of the locations, with potential issues and positives with each one.

The locations include:

• 28 acres along First Avenue South east of 32nd Street;

• 28 acres near Fort Dodge Middle School;

• 31 acres on Rolling Hills Drive;

• 35 acres on 15th Street near 31st Avenue North;

• 40 acres near 10th Avenue North and 32nd Street;

• 16 acres on the northwest side of the intersection of 25th Avenue North and 32nd Street;

• 36 acres on the southwest side of the intersection of 25th Avenue North and 32nd Street;

• 36 acres near 32nd Street and Second Avenue North.

Harvey said she’ll be asking the city’s Plan and Zoning Commission to narrow those locations down to 50 to 100 acres for future development.

Mayor Matt Bemrich clarified the process for rezoning the properties. He said he’d had people contact him because they were concerned about the process.

“Anybody, even if you change the land use map, anybody would have to still go through the full zoning process,” he said. “I’ve been contacted by people who were somewhat concerned about updating this map.”

The process, according to Harvey, would first involve requesting a rezoning from the Plan and Zoning Commission, then it would go to the City Council. Notice would be given to people who own property within 200 feet of the rezoning area.

A public hearing would then be set. A rezoning would only be approved after three readings from the City Council.

Bemrich said the council might also look into changing the notification area. He said people have contacted him saying that 200 feet isn’t a big enough area.

“Some people thought 200 feet was not adequate for notification,” he said.

No decisions were made Monday.

Councilman Jeff Halter praised the work of Harvey and the planning staff on this project.

He said he prefers the method that Harvey has been doing “versus what we’ve done in the past, which is a developer comes to us and we do whatever we need to do and change what we need to change to what they want.”

“I just like the idea that we’re using a plan to plan and that we’re not just reacting,” Halter said. “I gratefully appreciate all of your time.”