A chord of compromise was struck Monday night when East Lakeshore Drive business owners and city staff planners revised East Gateway design standards related to Project AWAYSIS during a Planning and Zoning work session.
The City of Storm Lake has instituted a moratorium on granting building permits for new construction or remodeling, with the exception of needed repairs, for a period of six months or until the design standards are in place. That raised concerns from a few local business owners.
The area affected would be the north side of East Lakeshore Drive bordered on the west by Kenzy Street and on the east by the cemetery.
City Planning and Zoning Director Scott Olesen said the applicability section of the guidelines was revamped.
"We worked on that extensively from the last meeting," Olesen said. Olesen said he, City Attorney Paul Havens, Project AWAYSIS Project Manager Mike Wilson, City Administrator John Call, and he had worked on the changes.
A significant difference would apply to changes in use.
Olesen said a change in use would still require a property owner to submit designs to the city's design review architect which is yet to be designated. "We want to make sure whatever we do is harmonious with what's down there," Olesen said.
Olesen said next meeting 7 p.m. Monday the Planning and Zoning Commission may act on approving the design standards and forwarding them to the Storm Lake City Council.
"It's softened up a little bit relative to the change in use," said Wilson who noted that change in use was a key issue discussed at previous meetings.
A change in use requires approval of signage. Setbacks will be allowed a five-foot range of tolerance. Side parking will be allowed but will require protective screening and islands, Wilson said. Other requirements going with a change in use are front sidewalks and landscaping. Any appearance from East Lakeshore, said Wilson, "would be consistent with the design standards."
Not required with the change in use will be a 6/12 roof pitch, specified building materials, or rear parking if room is not available.
"We tried to go halfway with it," Wilson said.
Planning and Zoning Chair Joe Galey agreed the Planning and Zoning Commission could possible forward its recommendation to the Storm Lake City Council.