Industrial business move approved by Blaine council

A local business owner will be able to move his headquarters to a new location thanks to a conditional use permit approval from the Blaine City Council March 6.

The Blaine City Council approved a conditional use permit so Nitti Rolloff Services can move its headquarters to the former Petersen Stucco building. It will be able to store trucks, trailers and dumpsters in this screened-in area. Photo by Eric Hagen
The Blaine City Council approved a conditional use permit so Nitti Rolloff Services can move its headquarters to the former Petersen Stucco building. It will be able to store trucks, trailers and dumpsters in this screened-in area. Photo by Eric Hagen

Nitti Rolloff Services has been located in Blaine “for a number of years,” according to owner Tony Nitti, who is also a Blaine resident. He plans to move his headquarters from 2136 108th Lane NE to the former Petersen Stucco building at 12351 Cloud Drive NE.

In order to do this, he needed a conditional use permit from the council. His request was unanimously approved.

According to its website, Nitti Rolloff Services offers complete demolition, excavating, bobcat services, asbestos testing and removal, general trucking and snow removal.

“While the majority of the roll-off containers are located off site, there are a number of containers that return to the yard that will need to be stored in the yard,” Nitti wrote in a Jan. 27 letter to the city. “These containers that come back to the yard are empty and are not able to be stacked.”

A standard condition placed on I-2 Heavy Industrial zoning district businesses in Blaine is it cannot stack these roll-off dumpsters and outside storage must be limited to 12-feet in height, according to Planning and Community Development Director Bryan Schafer. An area of chain link fence with slats will have to be replaced with an 8-foot high board on board fence. The south side of the property is already screened by an 8-foot tall block wall that will not need to be repaired.

Nitti said the dumpsters are typically off-site during the summer with perhaps only one to five in the storage yard at once. The containers come back during the winter. At the time he wrote the letter, he said there were currently 25 containers on-site.

Nitti listed other equipment and vehicles his company owns that would occasionally be on-site that would be stored both in the screened outside yard and inside the warehouse. Some examples include six roll-off trucks, four tractor trucks and three end dump trucks.

Schafer added Nitti must install a fire suppression system in the 11,820 square-foot building within one year of receiving a certificate of occupancy, as a condition of approval.

DSB, LLC owns five vacant lots next to Nitti Rolloff Services’ new site. In a Feb. 11 email to the city, a representative of this ownership group said they had concerns about Nitti’s proposal.

“We feel this would create many trips of large trucks moving through the neighborhood. This would also be an extremely noisy use and even though these are being called construction dumpsters there will be loose trash and bad odors that come from them,” wrote DSB, LLC representative Shawn Weinard in a Feb. 11 email to the city.

Nitti said his company employs 15 to 20 people with more staff during the peak summer season. Most of these employees are drivers working off-site. They would typically come to the Blaine headquarters as early as 5:30 a.m. and come back as late as 6:30 p.m. He has informed the drivers that they must head straight out to Main Street and not drive south on Cloud Drive through the neighborhood.

Northpoint Elementary School is next to this site, but Nitti said they would not be interfering with school traffic.

“They’re not in and out all day unless it’s (vehicle) maintenance,” Nitti told the council. “I know there was concern about smells. We’re not bringing full dumpsters back. You guys have three or four transfer stations in Blaine. We use them. We dump there. We come back.”

Mayor Tom Ryan said Petersen Stucco had semi trucks hauling in sheetrock, so heavy truck traffic is nothing new to this area.

“It’s a use that we’ve allowed and it’s a use that’s been there for many years and I think it’s a good place. I think this use will work in there,” Ryan said.

Weinard also pointed out that DSB, LLC rezoned its five lots last year from I-2 heavy industrial to I-1 Light Industrial based on the assumption that the whole area was changing to light industrial.

“We feel a little tricked,” Weinard said.

Schafer said city staff last year brought forward the concept to rezone these properties in the 123rd Court cul-de-sac to light industrial because there was interest from an auto dealer to have an indoor showroom at the former Petersen Stucco site. An application came in June 2013 and the developer requested rezoning this site to I-1 Light Industrial.

This indoor auto showroom concept did not materialize and the property owner did not want to change the zoning because of the outdoor storage allowed in an I-2 district as opposed to an I-1 district.

“I certainly got the impression that city council was unlikely to rezone this particular piece if the property owner didn’t prefer that,” Schafer said of the Petersen Stucco site.

Councilmember Mike Bourke said the vacant property immediately north of the former Petersen Stucco site is also zoned I-2.

Eric Hagen is at [email protected]