The Minot Planning Commission responded to the needs of the city's faith community Monday in approving permits and variances.
The commission voted to recommend the Minot City Council grant a special permit to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints to place a manufactured unit next to its building at 2025-9th St. NW to serve as additional classrooms for two years. The commission is recommending Faith United Methodist Church be given a three-year grace period to meet a requirement for paved parking and get a plat change needed to erect a sign.
The LDS church sought a two-year permit to accommodate its growth while it builds a second structure on separate property that it is looking to purchase. The church has grown to more than 1,000 members, with three congregations using its existing building. The manufactured unit would be used for children's classes on Sundays.
Church representatives explained that they are proposing a single-wide unit because it provides adequate classroom space and will fit behind the building, reducing its visibility from the road and not encroaching on parking space.
Faith United Methodist, which moved into a remodeled building north of Minot after the flood destroyed its previous building, sought to rezone its property from residential to commercial and vacate a plat to allow for the erection of a sign. The congregation also sought a variance to paving requirements for the church parking lot, noting that it cannot afford the expense at this time.
Commissioner John Zimmerman inquired about the church's decision to forgo paved parking in favor of a sign, which brought city council member Blake Krabseth to the church's defense.
"That congregation knows their needs better than we do," he said. Jeff Dunn, a member of the church, added that graveling the lot and buying the sign together cost less than a $75,000 to $100,000 paving project.
The commission supported the rezoning as well as the other requests.