Second reading of zoning change approved for assisted living facility

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At a special meeting Monday night, the Benson City Council unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance to change the zoning for land on which a proposed assisted living and memory care facility would be built.
The land is currently zoned for residential one and two family housing, but is being rezoned to a high-density residential district to accommodate the facility, which would have 16 memory units and 22 assisted living apartments. It is estimated that the facility could cost between $8 and $9 million.
The land sits immediately to the west of Minnesota Highway 29 and across from the Northside Recreation Area’s baseball fields. Pat and Jon Hawley of Hawley Properties are donating the land to the City of Benson for the project.
Zoning designations have to be changed by ordinance. The ordinance requires two readings at two separate meetings. The council gave unanimous approval to the first reading at its meeting May 4. Rather than wait two weeks until its regularly scheduled second meeting of the month, May 18, the council agreed to the expedite passage of the second reading by setting Monday night’s special meeting.
To become effective, the zoning law is now published in the city’s legal newspaper, the Swift County Monitor-News. Thirty days after publication it becomes law, unless there is a petition submitted that would force it to a vote. So far, there has been no opposition to the zoning change.

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