The Preston City Council, meeting Monday, Sept. 17, dealt with granting variances and approving street vacations.

First on the agenda was a request from Jerome O'Connor at 409 Preston St. NW for a variance to build a 24' x 26' addition to his garage. City Administrator Joe Hoffman said the existing garage on the property is built with a zero setback on the property line. He added that the addition will be built with the same setback. The Planning and Zoning Commission held a hearing on the request earlier that evening and Hoffman said it is its recommendation that the council approve the variance. Neighbors to O'Connor, Lori and Gregg Erding, sent a letter to the city stating their support of their project. The council approved O'Connor's request.

Planning and Zoning, at the hearing, discussed a variance request from Shawn Severson at 217 Main St. SW to build a 27' x 27' addition to his house. Hoffman said the existing house is built 13 feet from the property line. Severson is requesting that his addition be built with the same setback. Hoffman noted that 15 ft. is required. He added that Planning and Zoning also recommended the council approve this variance, which it did.

The council then discussed the proposed vacation of the 300th block of Brownsville St. W. Hoffman said a petition has been received from Jon and Chrisine DeVries to vacate the 33.5 ft. undeveloped portion of this street. This part of the street is platted as part of the Billings Addition, noted Hoffman. He added the way it is platted, if vacated, the property would go to the abutting properties on the north side.

The council also granted an easement over the entire 33.5 ft. Linda Hennessy, who lives in this area, spoke about the importance of easements being in place, especially with the setup of the sewer system in that area.

Another neighbor in the area, Fran Sauer, said she is in favor of the vacation and the easement. She said the neighbors keep that area up now anyway. "As long as the city has an easement, I see no problem at all," she said.

The council approved the vacation of this portion of Brownsville Street, with the addition of retaining easements.

Another street vacation up for discussion was the 400th block of Farmers Street W. This petition was received from Charles Aug from C&G Properties. Hoffman said he is requesting the "dead end" portion of this street be vacated. This is located adjacent to the federal building. Hoffman added that, per state statute, notices have been published in the paper and all property owners within 350 feet have been notified.

It was noted that use of this area is not going to change for C&G Properties. Hoffman said the entire parcel is also part of the Billings Addition and that if it is vacated the property will go to the lumberyard property, which is C&G Properties.