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Joint Planning Commission: Public hearings on Voyageur's, Hampton Inn is Thursday

A new school location and a change to the development plans for the south shore of Lake Bemidji are scheduled for public hearings Thursday evening before the Greater Bemidji Area Joint Planning Commission.

The JPC, which makes recommendations to the Joint Planning Board, will convene at 6 p.m. at Bemidji City Hall.

First on the agenda is a hearing on a Conditional Use Permit application for Voyageurs Expeditionary High School.

The school is planning to relocate from its current location at 102 First Street West, in the former Nash-Finch Grocery warehouse building, to the former Kobilka's building, 3724 Bemidji Ave. N., in Northern Township.

Voyageurs has been in its current location since October 2005.

The school is requesting a CUP to operate in the former retail center along Bemidji Avenue. Most recently, the center featured Frostbite Falls Screening Inc.

Voyageurs now has students in grades 10-12. According to JPC documents, the school is considering hosting grades 9-12.

Voyageurs plans to have 10 employees and up to 65 students in grades 9-12 at the new location, if it is approved.

Hampton Inn

The second public hearing will be on a request from the Edgewater Group to amend the Lake Bemidji South Shore Planned Unit Development.

If approved, the PUD would be expanded to also include the existing Hampton Inn and Green Mill developments. Now, those properties are not included in the PUD.

The Edgewater Group, which includes Bemidji businessman Rich Siegert, has purchased from the city the current Nymore Beach parcel, a 2.14-acre parcel of land.

Nymore Beach is planned to be relocated and expanded further east along the Lake Bemidji shore.

By amending the PUD to include the Hampton Inn and the Green Mill, the Edgewater Group would be able to develop an expanded hotel, according to JPC documents.

But the public hearing will be focused on the amendment to the PUD; no development plans have been submitted for a new or expanded hotel.