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Duluth planners propose tighter limits on Park Point development

The city of Duluth is proposing tighter restrictions on future developments on Minnesota Avenue, across from where business owner Joel Johnson wants to build a new hotel on Park Point.

The city of Duluth is proposing tighter restrictions on future developments on Minnesota Avenue, across from where business owner Joel Johnson wants to build a new hotel on Park Point.

City staff has proposed that land now zoned "mixed-use business park" be changed to "R-1 residential" a designation that would allow single-family homes only. The property in question is sandwiched between Minnesota Avenue and the alley behind Lake Avenue and between Eighth and 11th streets south.

City planner Cindy Petkac said notices should go out in the next few days to property owners who either would be directly affected by a plan to rezone property or those located within 350 feet of the parcel. A public hearing to discuss the rezoning proposal is scheduled for 6 p.m. Jan. 27 in City Hall Room 303.

The Duluth Planning Commission probably will take up the issue on Feb. 8.

Johnson, who says he owns about half of the land in question, said he opposes the rezoning. He claims the change would deprive him of the future use of the property and would dramatically reduce its value.

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He indicated he would seek compensation if the city forges ahead with the plan.

"The city might not be able to afford the cost," Johnson said. "It would be millions of dollars."

Petkac said the proposed zoning change is in keeping with the city's comprehensive land use plan.

"We think this rezoning is needed to protect a residential area with all the pressure we've seen for redevelopment on Park Point," she said.

Related Topics: PARK POINT
Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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