Elizabeth Doney Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
At a public meeting Tuesday morning, Hill County Commissioners granted initial approval to a request to change 26 acres of private land zoned for agricultural use west of Havre to commercial use. The land is located directly east of Kmart and is owned by Ron Harmon. “We had a hearing on the proposal to change the zone on that particular piece of land. We recommended to zone that commercial as it fits with the zoning in the rest of the area,” Commissioner Mike Wendland said of the change. “It’s compatible. This is just the first hearing and it will come up again in 30 days to legally go through the policy.” The commissioners did go out and view the site before the hearing on the zoning change. “By zoning this commercial, it makes it development in the area possilbe,” Wendland said. “Economically, it does fit in with the Hill County and Havre future development of the area.” There were no arguments against the request and commissioners Wendland and Kathy Bessette voted to approve the request to change the zoning from agriculture to commercial. “Once this is approved, after the 30 day notice, the property will be changed to commercial zoning and Harmon will be allowed to utilize that property for commercial purposes,” Clay Vincent of County Planning said. Vincent’s planning office keeps track of all the zoning areas and monitors compliance in Hill County. The county enacted zoning in the Kmart and Wal-Mart area in 1979. Zoning basically keeps specific types of development all together so that there is not a mix and match of all sorts of different zones, according to Vincent Harmon owns two companies, Harmon Properties and Big Equipment Co. And approximately 200 acres of land on the west side of Havre. “All of the properties lying along U.S. 2 and old Highway 2, later known as Second Street, I feel need to be correctly zoned into commercial and/or industrial zoning,” Harmon said. “I am just trying to get the proper zoning in that area. It’s been zoned agriculture since the beginning of time, and I think it’s time to get it zoned for it’s intended use. This is the same process that was utilized to create proper zoning for Kmart and Wal-Mart, and we are just extending it across additional properties that I own.” Harmon said he is developing a road that will ultimately be used as a frontage road behind Wal-Mart and Kmart and will come back into old U.S. Highway 2 as part of his overall development plan, allowing access to additional properties that will be developed. “There’s no particular business planned yet,” Harmon said. “There is one particular property that is being considered for development, but that deal is not fully closed yet.” The property that is set to be changed is the only new development that has existing water and sewer lines that have already been paid in full in that area. “I originally purchased this property in the late ’70s, but it has taken a substantial amount of time to put the infrastructure primarily water and sewer lines across these properties and get them paid for over the last 20 years, so that this development can take place,” Harmon said. “This will allow for additional development on the west end of Havre, giving more job opportunities and additional business opportunities for people in the Havre area.” For more information on zoning, call the Health and Planning office (406) 265- 5481, ext. 273.