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Guidelines established for ‘extreme weather center’ concept in Sturgis

Sturgis City Commissioners have approved revision to codes and zoning ordinances to accommodate establishment of “extreme weather” centers.

An extreme weather center, or EWC, is defined as a building that provides a location on a temporary basis for residents during times of extreme temperature (cold or hot), but does not involve any form of housing.

EWC is considered a special land use. Interested parties who want to develop a property are required to obtain approval from the planning commission, including a required public notice.

Among requirements for EWC: 

• The building must comply with building codes, fire codes, and all other state, county or local laws and ordinances. 

• A floor plan of the building and space for the center. 

• An operations/management plan. 

• A site plan showing parking options for volunteers and people who use the center. 

Special use for the facility requires a permit, with annual renewal required. The planning board oversees review and approval of permits. 

An applicant is allowed to define what it considers “extreme conditions,” to clarify situations when the facility would be open for that purpose.

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