The Crookston Planning Commission met on Tuesday to continue reviewing the Gateway Overlay District that the City Council sent back to the Planning Commission after it passed through the Ways & Means Committee. Mayor Guy Martin and City Council members Steve Erickson, Dale Stainbrook, Jake Fee, and Don Cavalier all attended the meeting.

The meeting was kept brief as the Planning Commission came to the agreement that the ordinance for the Gateway Overlay District has been discussed extensively enough by the Commission to send the proposal to the City Council, but not before one amendment was made. The primary concern brought up in the meeting was how Epitome Energy or any other future new businesses would face additional costs when moving into one of the designated entry points to Crookston that would require any new business to meet the specifications required by the Gateway Overlay District. Specifically noted as a cost that could escalate quickly was the requirement to put in an impervious surface for parking for any new business that tries to open or relocate along the Gateway Overlay District and that provision was amended out of the proposal before being sent forward to City Council. “We’ll make that adjustment with parking lots,” noted City Administrator Shannon Stassen. “We’ll visit with the City Attorney, and he’ll change that language a little bit, and we’ll take it back to council right away on Monday.” Any additional discussion on the Gateway Overlay District moving forward will be dealt with at the City Council Meeting on Monday. “I think anything is possible, but the planning commission was pretty clear that they felt they had done their work and it was time to forward it on to the council, and if there are adjustments that need to be made beyond this point, the feeling was the council certainly has that right to make adjustments at this point as they see fit,” concluded Stassen.

Prior to the meeting’s conclusion, an additional motion passed approving Epitome Energy’s potential use of land for a Soybean processing facility that the Commission concluded fit the “heavy industrial” zoning requirements.