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DL bowling alley may move to Gateway area

DETROIT LAKES -- Plans are in the works for Voyageur Lanes on Little Detroit Lake to be torn down and the bowling alley relocated, with a condo to go up in its place. But, the details aren't ironed out quite yet.

David Spies brought plans to the Detroit Lakes Planning Commission to discuss demolishing Voyageur Lanes on West Lake Drive, and building a 27-unit condominium in its place. After discussion, the planning commission came up with a list of 16 requirements, including a lower number of units, less impervious surface than proposed, and the height of the building not to exceed a certain amount.

By the time the issue came before the Detroit Lakes Community Development Committee, Spies had requested the matter be tabled and sent back to the planning commission once again. Community Development Director Larry Remmen said Spies was working on the plan to make some changes and give it another shot.

Instead of the 27 units Spies first requested, Remmen said the planning commission was leaning more toward allowing 18-19 units. Some members, he said, wanted 15 units, but might be willing to allow a few more.

He added that one reason Spies is having difficulty with the height issue is because he plans to have underground parking for the condos, which would reduce the amount of impervious surface. This seemed to be a good idea to committee members.

Community Development Committee Chair Matt Brenk brought up what he called a political aspect to the request.

He said Spies wants to build the condo in the West Lake Drive location to make the money to move his bowing alley to the new redevelopment part of town after Highway 10 is finished.

"That's his economic hardship, not the city's," Alderman Bruce Imholte said about granting variances to Spies just so he could move his business.

Brenk agreed that variances shouldn't just be thrown out, but he wanted to make other committee members aware of some underlying reasons for the condo request.

The planning commission will revisit the issue and the new proposal will come before the community development commission and city council in the near future -- likely at the March meetings.

Also discussed at the Community Development Committee meeting, and scheduled to come before the city council Tuesday night:

-- Approval of a resolution to annex Long Lake Area II as of July 15. This portion would include the south side of Long Lake Drive to the north by the airport.

The next two phases of the annexation aren't scheduled until 2012 and 2015.

Remmen said the city will start collecting taxes in 2009 from property owners, but the city must then make payments back to the township for a period of time.