The upcoming redevelopment of Sloulin Field was the subject of four public hearings at Tuesday’s meeting of the Williston City Commission.
The items up for public hearing were a comprehensive plan amendment for the redevelopment, a preliminary plat for the Williston Square subdivision, a proposed Planned Unit Development Master Plan for Williston Square subdivision and for proposed Base Zoning for the subdivision. The items had already been heard in public hearings at the Dec. 16 Planning and Zoning meeting. The 800-acre Sloulin property has been the subject of much discussion, with the opening of the Williston Basin International Airport opening the doors for the land to be redeveloped, but little has been shared in terms of what the plan for the property is.
The Comprehensive Plan amendment provides a few more details into what the city would like to see happen with the redevelopment. The plan amendment, which is available to the public on the City of Williston website, includes several proposals for a mixed-use development which the city says would serve many needs and uses within the community.
According to the amendment, the proposed development plan would include a Civic Center core as well as a broad mix of uses that radiate out from the core and connect to surrounding neighborhoods. The key components of the proposed plan include a Civic Center Campus to be located generally south and west of the former airport terminal. This will include a conference center, a conference hotel, and a community space that is envisioned to include an amphitheater, trails and paths and other gathering spaces that would provide year-round amenities. The amendment also gives details on the following other aspects of the proposed redevelopment:
Commercial and Business District: At the east end of the property and fronting onto U.S. Highway 2, there would be commercial and service uses that would provide a core of uses that will serve the Williston community and enliven the frontage of the major regional highway. This would include a mix of major, medium and small retail businesses in both independent and in-line physical configurations. Signage, access and landscaping will be coordinated and consistent across this area.
South of Civic Center: The plan proposes a variety of uses and scale of uses south of the Civic Center, including mixed-use districts tied into the Civic Center, medium density multi-family apartments, and a business area that may include a focus on medical services.
North of Civic Center: The plan proposes a variety of uses north of the Civic Center, including mixed-use districts with varying combinations of multi-family residential, commercial and business uses as well as some ancillary public and civic uses. The focus of business uses in this area is intended to promote new opportunities for business start-ups, research and development facilities and business offices, which would benefit from the proximity of the Civic Center.
Western Districts: To the west of the planned development, the land would be used for two-family and single-family residential neighborhoods and for open spaces. These would relate to similar existing and planned uses adjacent to the development site.
Along with those proposed plans, the amendment says the redevelopment would include both the establishment of new street corridors as well as extending 34th Street W. and Second Avenue W. It would also include a variety of parks and open spaces “that serve both the community at-large as well as the new development.”
City Planner Kent Jarcik presented the proposals to the commission, with Cardon Development Group Senior Project Manager Bob Gregory sharing details about the upcoming development. Gregory said within the next month Cardon would be meeting with the city regarding the various phases of the development, beginning with a portion of the retail, civic center, amphitheater and mixed and commercial use areas.
“This is a master plan,” Gregory told the commission. “You could have a lot of activity in five years. Our experience is master plans take a few years, and you’re going to see changes in this master plan. What you know today will change, the market is going to drive that, the commercial market, residential market, and we think this is a really good road map and base map for the initial development for Williston Square.”
The commission voted unanimously to approve the Comprehensive Plan amendment, the preliminary plat, the Planned Unit Development Master Plan and the base zoning.