City green lights amendment request
In a unanimous vote of approval, Blaine City Council approved a citizen-sponsored amendment proposal to reduce the permitted distance between gasoline service stations and locations considered “sensitive” within city limits.
The amendment proposal was submitted by Heather Wolf on behalf of Yorkston Oil Co. and received approval from Blaine’s planning commission in late July.
With approval from the city, Yorkston and others can now build gas stations 100 feet closer to sensitive locations in the city, including schools, parks, playgrounds, churches and places of public assembly within the Gateway Zoning District, which is bordered by SR 543, E Street and Pipeline Road.
The Blaine school campus as well as Lincoln and Skallman parks fall within the district impacted by the amendment.
Blaine school district superintendent Ron Spanjer was approached for comment early in the process and expressed no concern about the amendment, according to city staff.
The approval reduces the current 300-foot barrier to 200 feet. Under International Fire Code, a 100-foot buffer is required for a gasoline service station capable of storing one million gallons of gasoline.
City park rename approved, another is left undecided
Blaine City Council members approved a request to rename portions of land in the Montfort Park Neighborhood to Heron’s Pond.
The request was initiated by the Park and Cemetery Board after a series of public meetings.
The city was also asked to consider a name change for Skallman Park. After several years operating as an off-leash dog facility, members felt it would be appropriate and more clear to call it Skallman Dog Park.
Councilmembers did not vote on the matter after learning that members of the Skallman family did not support the name change.
Special event permit approved by council
Blaine City Councilmembers approved an amendment that will allow for camping, recreational fires and alcohol consumption in city parks with a new special event permit.
Previously, such uses were prohibited in city parks.
Recreational fires require city approval.
The initiative was taken by the park and cemetery board.
Members believe that the amendment will increase use of city parks.