M&D Construction still mulling options after commission denied permit

Rhett Hulett, owner of M&D Construction, returned to the City Commission on Jan. 16 to give commissioners additional information.

During their Jan. 2 meeting, commissioners denied a conditional use permit for M&D Construction to allow for a contractor yard, type two. The company had been operating beyond the allowable uses in the M-2 zoning district without the CUP and earlier this year, an area resident complained to the city.

Commission denies permit for M&D Construction, forcing company to scale back operations or relocate

Staff proposed the CUP with conditions that would improve the property at the triangle at the end of 8th Avenue North, where it meets Park Drive and 6th Street North, at the east end of Gibson Park. The conditions included landscaping, berming and sidewalk improvements.

The denial forces M&D to either scale back operations or relocate.

Hulett told commissioners during the Jan. 16 meeting that he purchased the property in 2011 and it had been used as a construction company site for some time.

In denying the permit, Commissioner Mary Sheehy Moe had expressed frustration that the request had risen to the commission level without more discussion at the planning board/zoning commission level.

Commission to consider two conditional use permits, one would allow business to stay in place, other would allow new construction

Hulett responded to that Tuesday night saying he felt that the other boards saw the big picture of the improvements they were proposing.

Hulett told The Electric that he hadn’t decided what to do, but that he’d been looking for another location for a while since they were starting to outgrow their current location.

“We know that’s a tight area,” Hulett told The Electric. “But we were excited,” about the improvements.

The commission’s decision on Jan. 2, “crushed us, I guess,” Hulett told The Electric.

If the company and it’s 30 employees leave the downtown, Hulett told commissioners that the city would miss them at that location and their tax dollars on the property, plus the money the employees spend downtown on lunches and other activities while working in the area.

The Electric will continue to follow this issue and post updates as they become available.