THE CLEARWATER DEPOT BUILDING at 340 South Walnut Street.

Clearwater Depot issue resolved

Subhead: 
Staff Writer
Ken Francis
The Clearwater City Council last week agreed to help a dental business relocate in the Clearwater Depot building at 340 South Walnut Street.
Wayne Elam from Commercial Realty Solutions told the council he had a purchase agreement for the property but some language in a deed restriction was holding up the closing.
Back on Dec. 11, 2012, after receiving approval for a variance for a lot split between the Depot building and the storage building behind it, a deed restriction was recorded to prevent any future development or expansion of the Clearwater Depot building.
Elam said Dr. Battikhi wanted to move his dental clinic to the site. The closing was scheduled for June 26, but the buyer’s attorney did not agree with some of the language in the deed restriction.
The language in question states, “any future use of the property may not result in the intensification of the use of the two restricted parcels.”
“Intensification” in the deed restriction is defined as “change of existing uses which would result in increased vehicular traffic,” as one of the conditions.
Elam said since the building is 80% vacant, the attorney believed use of the building for a dental clinic would result in an increase in vehicular traffic.
“From his perspective, since the building has been vacant or 80% vacant for so long, anything that happens at the property is intensification,” Elam told members of the council. “His concern was his client would buy the building, move his medical practice over there and it would be an intensification of the use and traffic.”
Elam said the attorney had drafted a proposed amendment to the deed restriction for the council Depot Continued On Page 5
to review and approve.
That amendment changes “Intensification” to mean “increase in building square footage; increase in existing non-conforming aspects of the building and/or lots, and/or change of use of the property to production, manufacturing or wholesale storage.”
Mayor Pete Edmonson told Elam staff had reviewed the deed restriction and recommended not changing the restriction.
A memo from Zoning Administrator Deb Petty said the deed restriction uses the phrase “change of existing uses,” which refers to allowable uses of the building as defined in a conditional use permit (CUP) approved in March, 2008.
Under the CUP, professional offices such as attorneys, medical practices, insurance professionals and similar service businesses are considered allowable uses. So a dental office would not be changing an existing use.
Elam asked the council if they could have a letter drafted on official City of Clearwater stationary outlining Petty’s conclusion. He said he believed that would satisfy the attorney and his client. He also asked for confirmation in writing that the CUP would transfer to the new owner.
Council directed Administrator Heidi Eckerman to draft the letter.
 

photos


MEMBERS OF THE BIG LAKE HIGH SCHOOL CHAMBER CHOIR performed for the school board at the beginning of their last meeting. The Chamber Choir members are selected for their skills from among their peers. They were directed by Mary Ebanks. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

DARLENE LANZ grew up just east of town and has lived in or around Big Lake all her life. She recalls what Christmas was like in Big Lake back then. (Photo by Jennifer Edwards).

SHERBURNE COUNTY ATTORNEY Kathleen Heaney, taking over as MCAA President. (Submitted photo.)

Cheryl Turck and Corey Mabis of the Sherburne County Probation Dept. (Photo by Ken Francis.)

SANTA AND HIS HELPERS prepared to give out toys to 111 families at the Food Shelf Monday. The toys were all donated by one local merchant. (Photo by Ken Francis.)