Moorhead Planning Commission Votes For ‘Conditional Use’ on Residential Lots

Homeowners want to preserve the historic Comstock neighborhood

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Moorhead homeowners in the Comstock neighborhood want the city to change its rules to keep parking lots away from their properties.

Current city law allows lots to be built without public notification.

People took to City Hall to advocate for a conditional use permit, which means a public hearing and certain standards would have to be met before a building permit is issued.

“It’s my sense right now that it’s not that hard for a developer to come in, buy something, flip it, and turn it into something else. It’s just not that hard,” said David Wintersteen, a homeowner.

Wintersteen and his wife say past development has made them move.

“If we were to sit on our front porch we would look at a fence and a dumpster instead of two homes,” said Carrie Wintersteen.

Residents want to preserve the historic Comstock neighborhood because they say history is something that can’t be rebuilt.

“Anytime you have a historic neighborhood, once it’s gone, it’s gone. You can’t build a new historic neighborhood,” Wintersteen said.

All members at the Planning Commission meeting voted in favor of conditional use.

“I don’t take changing the city law very lightly. Every time you do a change there’s unintended circumstances that end up coming out somewhere else,” said Joel Paulsen, a member of the commission.

“Any future owner would have to maintain the same standards that are recorded in that same conditional use permit,” said Kristie Leshovsky, City Planner.

The issue has been an ongoing conversation since the beginning of the year.

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