Sending them back to the Planning Commission when they want to pour some cement before freeze-up isn’t ‘business friendly,’ Vedbraaten says

    The developers who want to build two market-rate apartment buildings and garages on North Broadway south of Casey’s General Store and across the street from Agassiz Townhomes earlier this summer were granted by the Planning Commission and Crookston City Council a couple of relatively minor variance requests they needed to make their plans work.

    But because they are poised to receive a two-year tax abatement from the City as part of the deal that’s been put together – Polk County and the Crookston School District would also be asked to approve the abatement – representatives of APG Development have to go back before the Planning Commission to have the “business subsidy agreement” approved. A public hearing will also be required because of the tax abatement on the table, and the Planning Commission also needs to OK the land use being proposed once commissioners determine that the apartments fit land use parameters included in the City’s comprehensive plan.

    With APG Development hoping to get cement poured on the first building before freeze-up, At Large Crookston City Council Member Tom Vedbraaten, repeating a concern he has voiced on more than one occasion before, said the City needs to be more business-friendly.

    “We put people through more hoops than it’s worth,” Vedbraaten said. “They want to get cement in, but here we are again, with another delay.”

    Ward 1 Council Member Jake Fee said it should have been the other way around, with the land use and business subsidy agreement being approved before APG Development came forward with their variance requests.

    One of the APG representatives pursuing the project is Elliot Steinbrink. Steinbrink, a Crookston native who was raised here, is the son of Robin and the late Cheryl Steinbrink.

    APG Development’s plans include two buildings, but they’re going to focus on the first building at the start. There are talks that the second building would feature multi-use possibilities on the main level, perhaps some kind of restaurant. But that is all just talk at this point.

    Each building would have 18 units.