Commercial building height may increase in Detroit Lakes

Planning Commission recommends fourth story for two commercial zones; neighborhood commercial districts also discussed

Detroit Lakes Planning Commission member Don Maristuen and Council liaison Shaun Carlson discussed permitted building height in commercial districts during the commission's monthly meeting on April 27.
Barbie Porter / Detroit Lakes Tribune

DETROIT LAKES — Buildings in the Detriot Lakes commercial district may have a new story.

The Detroit Lakes Planning Commission met Thursday, April 27 and agreed to recommend the city council allow buildings in the B-2 and B-3 district to be four stories, but not exceed 60 feet. Currently, only the B-1 district allows a building to be up to four stories, but it also must not exceed 60 feet.

The city of Detroit Lakes zoning map shows the different uses for potential growth and development. The commission recommended the council allow height of buildings up to 60 feet in all commercial districts.
City of Detroit Lakes

The commission also discussed neighborhood commercial districts.

“Our job is to think of the long term development of our community, and how, where and why we want what zones,” said City Councilman and Planning Commission Liaison Shaun Carlson.

Discussion of the neighborhood commercial district included hours of operation. The commission suggested regular business hours of 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. be placed in the ordinance.


It was noted that if a business was a bakery, for example, the employees could be on-site working, but not open to the public outside of the regulated hours.

When it came to the types of businesses allowed, several residents were vocal about not wanting a gas station.

Gas stations with conditions were approved, with Planning Commission member Nancy Haggart opposing. While the commission gave its approval, the ordinance must still go through the process of being approved by the city council.

The commission is also suggesting setbacks in the neighborhood commercial district to be equal to 1½ times the height of the building, but not less than 30 feet.

If the council moved on the commission’s recommendation, gas stations would be allowed with a conditional use permit. Those conditions would include restricted hours, two pumps, four cars and not 24/7.

The commission also approved adding a statement to conditional uses in the neighborhood commercial district, which included “any other conditions which council deems necessary.”

The Detroit Lakes City Council’s next meeting is set for Tuesday, May 9 at 5 p.m. at the Becker County Courthouse.

What To Read Next
Get Local