Plans to open a Taco Bell at 2235 N. State St. moved forward Tuesday when the Fairmont Planning Commission approved a conditional use permit for a 60-foot sign for the business. A representative from BFI Estate Holdings told commissioners that they hope to open in three months, in the late October/early November range.

City Code limits signs in a general business zone to 40 feet in height, unless a conditional use permit is obtained. BFI previously had submitted a conditional use application for an 80-foot sign but withdrew that request to re-submit one for 60 feet similar to other area business including McDonald’s, Perkins and the four hotels off Interstate 90 exit 102.

The busiest intersection in Martin County soon will have new members, following action on Tuesday by the Fairmont Board of Zoning Appeals.

Kyle Smith of Tailwind Development, owner of 1023 E. Blue Earth Ave., requested a variance to allow the addition of 800 square feet to the former Papa Murphy’s building at the intersection of Blue Earth Avenue and State Street. Remodeling and expanding the building to the east will make room for two new tenants, AT&T Cell Phone Service and Shopko Optical.

The rear yard variance would remain the same, but a variance for a 5-foot side yard setback, in lieu of 10 feet, is needed for the addition.
City Adminstrator Mike Humpal added that the variance request meets the three legal standards set forth by the state for consideration: the intended use of the property is reasonable; there are unique characteristics to the land, not personal preferences of the landowner, that create the circumstances; the resulting structure would be consistent with the surrounding area.
The board unanimously approved the variance.

Smith said he hoped to break ground Monday, or as soon as possible, on the addition.

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