NU Planning Commission amends comp plan

NEW ULM- The Planning Commission unanimously approved an amendment to City’s Comprehensive Plan on Thursday.

The amendment changes New Ulm’s comprehensive plan to allow industrial land uses on land previously designated as medium residential and high residential. The affected property is located in the northwest quarters and lies south of County State Aid Highway 29. It is located in the Milford Township and abuts city limits, placing it within the area covered by the Comp Plan.

Community Development Director David Schnobrich explained that with a Comprehensive Plan, a property is not re-zoned, it is designated for certain general uses. The Comp plan is used as a general reference guideline during annexations or development.

Following a recent review, Brown County identified the property as suitable for industrial uses, citing access to a railroad, county highway, and adjoining industrial properties. The request to amend the Comp Plan came from the City of New Ulm.

Commission member Ruth Ann Webster clarified that currently the area surrounding the property is not seeing a demand in residential, but rather light industrial zones.

TIF District

The Planning Commission approved a resolution modifying a Tax Increment Financing District on South Minnesota Street. Last year, Eagle Development proposed a 39-unit senior rental housing project at 103-119 S. Minnesota St. At that time Eagle Development requested a TIF District to assist in financing the project. In August 2013 the Planning Commission approved this request and established the District in October 2013.

Minnesota Strasse later replaced Eagle Development as the project developer. Because the site was zoned as a General Business District a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) was needed. A second CUP was approved during the May 6 City Council meeting that would allow the apartment building to be moved south towards 2nd South Street.

The TIF assistance approved by the Commission will be used to pay for land acquisition, demolition, and rehabilitation of structures, clearing of the land, removal of hazardous substance or remediation necessary to develop the property.

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