- Associated Press - Monday, October 12, 2015

WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) - City leaders are hoping to improve the appearance of the downtown Williston by making permanent a temporary moratorium on metal buildings downtown.

However, some commissioners in the oil patch hub worry the move will add to the expense of building downtown and discourage new projects.

The proposal recommended by the city’s planning and zoning commission would ban new buildings and renovated existing buildings from having material such as corrugated metal or vinyl siding on sides that are adjacent to streets, the Williston Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1hzS3Ow ). The ordinance would restrict the main building materials for new construction to stone, stucco and brick.

“There is certainly room for creativity, but those are generally considered approved materials for downtowns,” Senior Planner Rachel Wressler said.

Metal could be allowed for decorative accents, such as a metal overhang painted with a business name, according to Wressler. Existing buildings with metal sides would not be required to update their exteriors.

Commissioner Tate Cymbaluk questions the proposal, which the City Commission could decide on Tuesday. Limiting materials to stone, brick and stucco could make building more expensive, he said.

“Why would you not let them do a metal building there?” he said. “And what if (a metal) building burns down? Can they not rebuild to that type?”

The city’s downtown plan was adopted after a period of public discussion, Wressler said.

“There are pretty distinct styles of buildings that are considered to be part of a downtown,” she said.

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Information from: Williston Herald, https://www.willistonherald.com

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