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Park Point marina rezoning gains Duluth Planning Commission's OK

Image courtesy BDP Architects

A request to rezone Harbor Cove Marina on Park Point so a hotel can be built on the site got the blessings of the Duluth Planning Commission on Tuesday.

Commissioners voted 6 to 2 to recommend Duluth City Council approval of the zoning change from industrial-waterfront to mixed use-waterfront. City planning staff also supports the zoning change.

The vote came after two Park Point residents expressed concerns about congestion, safety, aging utilities and quality of life on Park Point if the development occurs.

Marina owners plan to build a 55-room, three-story hotel that will include a pool and meeting rooms. The design, which includes 48-foot towers, was inspired by the picturesque Duluth Boat Club clubhouse that stood on the site in the early 1900s.

The new designation -- which is called for in the city's comprehensive plan and its uniform development code on zoning -- allows for lodging on site, as well as the 104-slip marina that would continue to operate at the site.

The matter now goes to the City Council. If the council approves the zoning, the developers still will have to return to the Planning Commission with more detailed project plans. At that time, questions of whether sufficient sewer water and other infrastructure exist on the Point for the development probably would be addressed.

Commission President Drew Digby voted against the rezoning in a protest vote after the city engineering department expressed concerns about the utilities on the Point.

With architectural designs in hand and a general contractor lined up, marina co-owner Terry Anderson said they hope to start construction of the 37,000-square-foot structure by early June.

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