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City Council to consider vacation of three streets

The Bemidji City Council will hold three public hearings Monday in relation to three proposed street vacations.

The City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday at City Hall.

The first public hearing will consider the vacation of a portion of 23rd Street Northwest.

Patrick DeMarchi, the property owner of the former Pine Ridge Service property at 950 Paul Bunyan Drive N.W., plans to develop a new office building at the site, according to a memo from City Planner Curt Oakes in the council packet.

DeMarchi has requested vacation of the north half of the underdeveloped portion of 23rd Street Northwest to use the area as undeveloped green space, the memo says. This would meet the Greater Bemidji Area Zoning and Subdivision Ordinance, which requires at least 30 percent to be green space.

Staff has recommended approval with the condition that the city retain utility easements in the right-of-way and that no building, structures, curbs or pavement occur in the right-of-way.

The second vacation request is for a portion of a Sixth Street Southeast.

Mark Dickinson informed city staff in January that the front porch of a house he is selling encroaches about 8-10 feet into the Sixth Street Southeast right-of-way, a memo says. He is asking for vacation of the north 10 feet of Sixth Street Southeast for the width of four parcels to settle a title commitment issue between the homeowners and the new buyers.

Staff has recommended approval, saying that the city will be able to maintain a 50-foot-wide street right-of-way. The city will retain utility easements.

Staff has recommended denial of a third vacation request for a portion of Second Street Southwest.

Citizens State Bank - Midwest, 101 Shevlin Ave. S.W., has purchased a parcel, 201 Shevlin Ave. S.W., with a single-family home to the south of the bank, according to a memo. The two properties are separated by an undeveloped, or paper, Second Street Southwest.

City staff, including representatives from the engineering, legal, public works and planning departments, agree that vacation of the Second Street right-of-way was not advisable due to the need to provide trail access on the former railroad right-of-way access to the west, the memo says.

Proposed committee

While not specifically listed on the agenda for consideration, the City Council may also consider the formation of a Steering Committee for the events center.

The issue has twice been tabled as the council has been split on the necessity of a committee that would meet perhaps weekly with City Manager John Chattin to discuss events center planning.

The council voted Feb. 4 to delay action until Feb. 19, when Chattin would be at the meeting to discuss the matter further. The council then voted Feb. 19 to table the issue until Monday's meeting as it was short three council members.