DULUTH - Another debate about Park Point development made for a lengthy discussion at Monday's city council meeting.
Plans that allow a duplex to be built closer to the high water level line off Minnesota Ave. near 32nd St. ultimately received approval against the wishes of many residents and the planning commission.
Owners of the property have attempted to finalize plans for the property for several years.
Due to the unique shape of the parcel, the developers requested a variance that would allow them to build closer than 50 feet away from the ordinary water line, saying they would be pushed by the property line near the street otherwise.
Their request for a variance received approval from the city's planning staff, but the planning commission voted against it.
The city council's vote Monday sided with the planning staff and reversed the planning commission's decision.
Allowing the developers to receive a variance from the 50-foot rule, along with the size and scale of the planned duplex, raised concerns for many neighbors.
But, the developers, who live on Park Point themselves, said they scaled back their original plans for an even larger duplex, and have met in the middle.
"We're not against having someone build a duplex or another building on the site but we do feel that they should adhere to the regulations," nearby resident Bruce Rutharford said. "It's a slippery slope, you know, once they start making exemptions to the planning."
"We've made compromises, we've talked to the neighbors, we've taken in heart what they have said, we have looked to make adjustments, I believe we have and we're looking for your support," site owner and developer Paul Kellner said to the council.
The council reversed the planning commission's decision with a 7-1 vote.
The final layout for the property sits at 36 by 42 feet and has setbacks from the ordinary high water level at 25, 34 and 44 feet.