Possible housing development back to the drawing board

A preliminary plat application for a 61-lot subdivision in Eureka Township was tabled by Ward County Planning and Zoning commissioners at their monthly meeting Thursday night.

The application, submitted by ST Development, LLC, would be composed primarily of 1.5 acre lots. The minimum buildible lot size across the county is two acres.

None of the three representatives for the development company identified themselves at the lectern as meeting procedure normally requires, and none were asked to do so by commissioners.

One of them, though, claimed that state minimum buildible lot size is one acre and that each lot will have an individual septic system. He also said the township does not have a problem with it. Commission chairman Kevin Connole, who owns Connole & Somerville Plumbing & Heating Inc. in Minot, disagreed. He said that in his years in the plumbing industry the minimum lot size in the plumbing code has always been two acres. It remained a point of disagreement.

“We may have a problem with that,” said commissioner Norman Livingston, who expressed opposition to the subdivision for various reasons throughout the meeting.

Commissioner John Fjeldahl brought up the point that townships are allowed to be more strict on their codes than the county they are in, but not allowed to be more leniant.

Of big interest to county engineer Dana Larsen was the safety for future, possible families in the division. He suggested that, while it would not have the urban “curb and gutter” sidewalks, there should at least be walking paths along the roadways to get children off the road. Also of interest is how access would work for the large subdivision.

When it came time to voting, however, there was some murmuring and confusion on how to proceed.

“In my opinion, commissioners, there’s just too many ‘what ifs’ on this one,” county State’s Attorney Rozanna Larson said.

Livingston spoke out, after discussion of the project had officially ceased, that he didn’t think a development of this size should be this far away from a city and also that the subdivision fell within the Minot Public School District, which is already becoming too crowded.

Commissioners unanimously passed Fjeldahl’s motion to table the application.

A Eureka Township meeting is scheduled for Jan. 7.

Other business

Commissioners agreed to maintain the third Thursday of the month meeting schedule going into 2014.

Commission reorganization will take place at the January meeting.