The City of Minot’s proposal to expand the footprint of its SW Minot landfill location hit a hurdle on Monday night as the Planning Commission denied an application to rezone the ~320 acres to ‘public’ use zoning which would allow for landfill activities to take place. The land requested for rezoning was purchased in 2017, the requested rezoning is the first step in the process of getting a landfill expansion permitted and approved.
Following Monday’s meeting, I reached out to the Assistant City Attorney, Stefanie Stalhiem to see what options remain for the City. Ms. Stalhiem’s response is best left in her own words.
Author’s Note: At the time of the sending the email below, I was acting as an Alderman and seeking information from a staff member in that role. Shortly after, I received several calls requesting the same information from concerned citizens and with permission from the City’s Public Information Officer and Ms. Stalheim, I’ve chosen to publish our full correspondence.
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Quick process question following last night’s marathon…
What options are available to the City regarding the landfill rezone?
I assume the City has the option to appeal that decision the same as any other applicant… how does that process work?
To be clear, I’m not asking what the City is doing, just curious about what options are available.
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At this juncture the City has a few options. They can withdraw their application, they can leave the Planning Commission’s recommendation in place for the Council’s consideration, they could ask the Council to hold the item so they could supply additional information, and they can appeal the Planning Commission’s decision under Section 30-6 of the Zoning Ordinance.
If they elect to appeal the Planning Commission’s decision, they would follow the process outlined in Section 30-6 – i.e., make application of the appeal within 30 days to the Planning Commission, who would then conduct a public hearing and make a recommendation to the Council. The Council would then conduct a public hearing and make a final determination. If the Council denies the appeal, an application for the same request or re-appeal cannot be submitted for three (3) months from the date of the final City Council decision.
An important thing to keep in mind with zone changes is that our present ordinance has some time restrictions for how often a City can address a zone change or appeal. 30-5(e) states that no application for a rezone shall be accepted more than once in any six (6) month period, except if the prior application is withdrawn before action is taken by the City Council, or if the Planning Commission determines the circumstances surrounding a previous application have changed.
Let me know if this answers your questions,
City of Minot, Assistant City Attorney