By Denise Lana,
During its first meeting of 2023, the Decorah Planning and Zoning Committee approved site plans for a preliminary plat and final plat for a proposed Veteran’s Affairs Outpatient Clinic. Six board members approved both plat votes, with one member, Ryan Delaney, abstaining on both. The site plan was approved contingent on a variety of noted concerns.
The site for this project is north and west of the Country Inn & Suites, and because the parcels of land are being split from a larger parcel, they must be replatted to meet state code. The parcel will require a subdivision plat, and there is a potential TIF application for the street portion of the project.
Along with separating a larger parcel, the proposed plats show public infrastructure to be installed and a right-of-way to be deeded to the city.
Regarding the preliminary plat, city staff reviewed and noted six items of concern: the status of the existing frontage road and if it is an Iowa Department of Transportation right-of-way and needs a formal agreement with the state; the sidewalk shown on the preliminary plat ends at the north edge of the western drive, and staff recommends a curb cut installed for potential future extension north; no street lights nor street signs are shown on the plat as required by code; building setback lines are not shown on the plat, and the plat doesn’t contact any protective covenants.
Regarding the final plat, staff had similar concerns regarding the ownership of the existing frontage road. Additionally, infrastructure is proposed as a dead end with no cul-de-sac, but the commercial driveway entrance would serve as a turnaround for emergency vehicles and snow plows. Also, there are no streetlights or signs indicated, and a performance bond needs to be provided to guarantee completion of public infrastructure.
Several concerns voiced by board members included bike trail safety (as the extension of the current frontage road would intersect the bike trail), storm water detention concerns, and speculation on how the road would swing because of the land grade challenges.
Proposed clinic services
The proposed Veteran’s Affairs clinic will be a single level building that will offer services including physical therapy and exercise areas, retinal scanning, audiometry testing and hearing aid treatment, radiology, women’s health, phlebotomy, optometry and eyewear fitting and mental health services, according to plans presented at the meeting. The site plan will go to city council for final approval.