July 23, 2014

Council stalls on variance, gets updated on hospital

By Chris Erickson

Last week the Beulah City Council held off making any decision for the second time on the topic of a variance request from a residential builder.
Mary Lou Horning spoke to the council on behalf of Dave Herner, of Herner Homes. Herner had previously applied for a variance on a home project that would allow for the structure to extend the property density requirement from 30 percent to 34 percent. The city’s planning and zoning board had recommended denying the variance request to the council, who had yet to make a decision on the topic.
“Dave has been building in this area since about 2006,” Horning siad. “He’s built a patio home this winter that is already sold. In looking at the next 1-2 years, he’s trying to address what people will want and need.”
According to Horning, his long-time work in the area - about 15 homes in total - had helped meet the need for residential housing in the past. Due to that alone, the city should grant the variance. Horning later stated that to her knowledge as a realtor, there were currently only a handful of homes for sale in Beulah.
“Granting a four percent variance is not going to be a hardship or deter from the other lots in that area,” she said.
Ultimately the council moved to bring the issue back up at the next meeting, as half the council was absent during Monday’s discussion. Councilor Al Kok asked that members of the planning and zoning board be present during the next discussion as well to give their perspective on why they recommended denying the permit in the first place.

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