Public feedback welcomed until April 5

    After researching and crafting it for more than a year, City of Crookston officials at Tuesday evening’s Planning Commission meeting will host a “public discussion” on establishing a “gateway overlay district” at several high-traffic entrances to Crookston.

    The commission meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the city hall council chambers.

    The concept of adopting a gateway overlay district was initially introduced for inclusion in the recent updated comprehensive plan approved by the Crookston City Council. Such a district was subsequently included in the plan, known as “Crookston Tomorrow, Comprehensive Plan 2035.”

    A gateway overlay district includes all land and structures located within 150 feet of either side of the right-of-way.

    The proposed district in Crookston includes:

    • East Robert Street from Polk County Road 214 to Ash Street

    • Sixth Street west from North Main to University Avenue

    • University Avenue

    • West Fisher Avenue

    • East Fisher Avenue

    • Fairfax Avenue

    • Third Avenue South

    • Third Avenue Southwest

    • Old Highway 75 from U.S. Highway 75 to South Main

    • U.S. Highway 75 from 290th Street Southwest to Polk County Road 233/Marin Avenue

    A gateway overlay district doesn’t require nor does it result in immediate, significant changes to properties located along primary transportation corridors in the community. Its impact would be observed over several years in the district’s defined areas because certain aesthetic qualities would be required when developments occur at properties located in the gateway overlay district. Single family residences would be exempt from the ordinance, however.

    Basically, the idea behind the aesthetic guidelines and development standards required as part of a gateway overlay district is meant to leave the public, predominantly those driving through a district, with a positive impression of the community.

    Things that would be prohibited from the gateway overlay district include adult-use establishments, transmission towers and structures (unless they blend with the surrounding area and secure a conditional use permit first), prefabricated/modular home sales and accessory structure sales, and salvage/junk yards.

    Following Tuesday’s discussion, the City will compile feedback and gather more input over the next couple of months in anticipation of the adoption of a gateway overlay district in Crookston being included on a city council agenda. Public feedback is requested by April 5 by calling city hall at 281-1232 or emailing City Administrator Shannon Stassen at sstassen@crookston.mn.us.