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City gives go-ahead for new developments

Posted 5/16/12 (Wed)

By Neal A. Shipman
Farmer Editor

Watford City’s City Council, during its regular meeting on Monday, May 7, cleared the way for what could very well be the biggest summer of building development that the city has ever seen.
During Monday night’s meeting the council approved zoning changes, annexations and subdivision plats affecting over 725 acres of land that are located within the city’s extraterritorial zoning area (ETA).
And according to Curt Moen, Watford City city planner, the boom in development is the direct result of the city’s efforts to expand its water and sewer service into its ETA.
“We’re going to see a ton of multi-family units built within the ETA and into the areas that have now been approved by the city council within the next two years,” states Moen. “I would guess that we will see the potential to have 2,400 apartment units under construction this summer that will be ready for occupancy by spring.”
“The developers know that the city is going to have its infrastructure (water and sewer) available and now they are ready to start building,” states Moen. “It is going to be crazy this summer as the city tries to get the infrastructure to these areas by the end of the year.”
While Moen sees apartment complexes as being the first new developments that will be coming to Watford City, he knows that other developments are not far behind.
“The developers are going to build the apartment complexes first in order to start cash flowing with these projects,” states Moen. “And then we’re going to start seeing new commercial development and the construction of new single family homes.”
One of the first new commercial developments, according to Moen, could be the South Park project, which is located at the junction of Highway 85 and the Highway 23 Bypass.
“South Park could take off very quickly as the developer of that project is very aggressive,” states Moen. “But there are a lot of factors, such as being able to secure tenants, that could slow down the development.”
But still Moen believes that this will definitely be the year when some  big changes will start to happen in Watford City.
“It is very likely that we will see 6,000 people living in permanent residences and apartments within Watford City and the ETA by the end of next year,” states Moen. “The real players with hard money are starting to move into Watford City and these developers are going to make things happen.”
In other business, the council:
• Approved the closure of a portion of Main Street on June 22 and 23 for Watford City’s Homefest and to provide for alcohol within a restricted area.
• Approved a request from the Watford City Park District to install a baseball/softball field on city property south of the fishing pond.
• Approved the following Roughrider Fund grants: $10,000 to the McKenzie County Fair Board, $10,000 for a carnival; $35,000 to the Lewis & Clark Trail Museum for building restoration; $25,000 to Vawnita Best for the production of a documentary titled “Legacy of Land – Commitment to Community and Livelihood; and $2,500 to the City of Watford City for the purchase of electrical panels to extend temporary electrical service to Main Street for use with community events on Main Street.
• Referred to the Ordinance Committee a request to amend a city ordinance regarding the disposition of impounded dogs and cats.
• Approved a motion giving mobile food vendors 45 days to come into compliance with current zoning regulations and obtain transient merchant licenses.
• Awarded the bid for the Area 5 Utilities Extensions and Improvements project to Merryman Excavation, Inc. for $1,385,308.40.
• Approved Task Order #15 (Area 5 Utility Extensions – Construction and Post-Construction Phases) with Advanced Engineering for $151,000.  
• Approved Task Order #13 (2012-01 Water Main Improvements – Final Design and Bidding Phases) with Advanced Engineering for $35,800.  
• Approved Advanced Engineering proceeding with the 2012 Infrastructure Master Plan for a fee of $236,230.
• Gene Koch, P.C. reviewed the audit report for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010.
• Approved a zoning change application by Farmers Union Oil, Co. for property located on the southside of the Highway 23 Bypass.
• Approved a conditional use application by Precision Well Service, Inc. to allow for a 10,000 gallon diesel tank at 2000 2nd Ave. SW.
• Approved a conditional use application by Mak Properties, Inc. to allow for employee housing in the S1/2SE1/4 Section 8, R150N, T98W and to allow for seven RV units on the site.
• Approved a conditional use application by JW Enterprises, LLC to allow employee housing in the S1/2 SE1/4 Section 24, T150N, R99W with the condition that the septic system be verified as adequate by a certified septic service or engineer.
• Approved a zoning change application by Fox Hills Village, LLC for 320 acres of property located in the NE1/4 Section 20; NW1/4 Section 21, T150N, R98W, and to zone that property from A-3 to R-1, R-2, R-3, R-4, C-1, C-2, and C-B.
• Approved the Subdivision Preliminary Plat (Phase 1) submitted by Fox Hills Village, LLC.
• Approved the Subdivision Preliminary Plat for 120.03 acres by Wild West Investments, LLC located in  S1/2 of NE1/4 & NW1/4 Section 26, T150N, R99W.
• Approved a zoning change application by Kirk Wold, CKW Properties, LLP for 48.35 acres located in Section 19, TWP 150N, R98W from A-2 to C-1, C-2, and C-B.
• Approved the Subdivision Preliminary Plat for 48.35 acres by Kirk Wold, CKW, LLP located at Section 19, TWP 150N, R98W.
• Approved the Subdivision Final Plat for Golden Welch located in the  SE1/4 Section 13, T150N, R99W.
• Approved the Subdivision Preliminary Plat for 20 acres for GT Investments, Inc located in E1/2 NE1/4 Section 17, T150N, R98W.
• Approved the Subdivision Preliminary Plat for 236.8 acres for S Harling Bryan in the NE1/4 SE1/4 Section 14, T150N, R99W.
• Approved the Subdivision Final Plat for Greg and Monica Simonson for property in Section 18, T150N, R98W contingent upon submittal of the Development Agreement, proof of bonding, and correction of the final plat.
• Approved the Subdivision Final Plat for ND Venture, LLC for property located at 2001 Main Street N., Section 12, T150N, R99W contingent upon submittal of the Development Agreement and proof of bonding.
• Approved the lawn maintenance contracts with Todd Hayden for 2012 lawn maintenance services at City Hall and Long X Visitor Center.
• Approved the first reading of an annexation application from Mark Bragg, Fox Hills Village, LLC.
• Approved the first reading of an annexation application from Tim Giles and Konrad Norstog.
• Approved the second and final reading of the annexation application submitted by Stenehjem Development, LLC.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance #265 Adding Section 6 to Article 25 of Chapter XV of the City of Watford City Ordinances relating to additional fees for temporary housing.
• Approved a resolution setting the temporary housing administration fee established by Ordinance #265 at $400 per bedroom per year.
• Approved the second reading  of #266 Ordinance Repealing Section 6-519 of Article 5 of Chapter VI of the City of Watford City Ordinances regarding sales prohibited on licensed premises.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance #267 Ordinance Adding Section 6-520 to Article 5 of Chapter VI of the City of Watford City Ordinances relating to adjacent room licenses.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance #268 Adding Section 11 to Article XXX of Chapter XV relating to open space requirements for residential subdivisions.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance #269 Adding Section 12 to Article XXX of Chapter XV relating to public property dedications in residential subdivisions.
• Approved the second reading of Ordinance #270 Adding Section 13 to Article XXX of Chapter XV relating to simple lot splits.
• Approved a special permit for Marquardt Inc. to sell and serve alcohol at the parking lot of TJ’s Pizza and Suds on May 12, 2012 from 5 p.m. to 1 a.m. for a customer appreciation event.
• Approved a special permit for Six Shooters, LLC to sell and serve alcohol at the Tourist Park on June 9, 2012 from 4 p.m. to 12:45 a.m. at the Molly Wold wedding reception.
• Approved payment of grants by the Energy Impact Office for $993,259.09, $21,938.04 for the Watford City Fire Department and $179,471.99 for the McKenzie County Ambulance Service.
• Approved the South Park Development Open Space Agreement between the City of Watford City and Puma Properties, LLP contingent upon revisions that are satisfactory to Attorney Voll.
• Agreed that all development agreements should include a $500 unit fee to be paid by the applicable developer for the benefit of the Watford City Park District.
• Approved advertising for a public hearing for the purpose of amending Chapter XV, Article XIX of the City of Watford City Ordinances relating to I-P Industrial Park District to reduce the minimum number of acres required.
• Approved advertising for a public hearing to change the zoning of the City’s impound lot to C-F.
• Referred the Newfield Production Company oil and gas lease was referred to Attorney Voll.
The next meeting of the Watford City City Council will be at 6 p.m. on Monday, June. 4.