The Storm Lake Planning and Zoning Commission this week approved proposed amendments to the Storm Lake Zoning Ordinance Gateway District overlay.
The Gateway District, along the highway across from King’s Pointe Resort, was created years ago in hopes of controlling and guiding development in that specific area to be compatible with the resort and lakefront property. City Building Official Scott Olesen suggested that some of the regulations on businesses in the Gateway District may hinder potential development and is more restrictive in some respects than for businesses in other parts of the community. Olesen felt that it could cause some business developments to go elsewhere.
The amendments to the text would allow more flexibility in a number of areas, such as orientation of a building on a lot, parking restrictions in front of buildings lighting height restrictions, screening of storage buildings, and specifics for building materials, façade construction, and window height. Proposed changes also include allowing larger signs that could be more easily read, increasing road accesses allowable from one to two to decrease traffic congestion, allowing business window graphics, and reducing the minimum requirements for trees and shrubbery.
Two members of the audience spoke during the public hearing segment of the meeting, in favor of relaxing certain requirements to ease the development process.
The issue will now go to the Storm Lake City Council for consideration. Three readings would be necessary to finalize the amendments to the zoning ordinance, which will allow for additional opportunities for the public to hear about the proposals and to comment if they wish.