City may ease zoning

FAIRMONT – The two Fairmont exits off Interstate 90 look very different: Highway 15 is mostly retail while County Road 39 is zoned for industrial use. The city’s planning commission would like to expand what is allowed in the latter.

On Tuesday, the commission discussed allowing general business uses in light industrial districts with a conditional use permit. Examples given would be to allow an auto dealership near Weigh-Tronix, or a convenience store on Bixby Road.

“I think it provides more flexibility,” said Mike Humpal, Fairmont city administrator.

By requiring a conditional use permit for each proposed project, city staff can determine whether the general business use is compatible with existing industrial businesses.

“And with a conditional use permit, then the neighbors get a hearing,” explained Leanne Zarling, community development coordinator.

City staff will next draft an amendment to the zoning code for the planning commission to review, after which it will go before the City Council.

In other business, the commission discussed the need to fill a vacancy on the board. The person must live in Fairmont and should have an interest in how the city develops.

The commission meets at 5:30 p.m. on the first Tuesday of every month at City Hall.

For more information, contact Humpal at (507) 235-9461 or email Mayor Randy Quiring at The mayor appoints commissioners.