January 8, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes

1. CALL TO ORDER –Chair Hoffman called the meeting to order at 7 p.m.


3. ROLL CALL – Mason, Kaczanowski, Hoffman. Struck absent, Erickson resigned. Ex-officio Bren and resident, Pam Horton.

4. ADOPT AGENDA – Mason makes a motion and Kaczanowski seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.

5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Mason makes a motion and Kaczanowski seconds to approve the minutes. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from December 11, 2013 –

a. Accessory Structure Size Limit Discussion
i. Delano City Code Example
ii. Orono City Code Example
iii. Minnetonka Beach City Code Example
iv. Council Member Comment
Brixius said recently a structure was proposed that was two-three times larger than the primary structure and it was denied. Brixius said the PC decided to restudy this. Brixius said there was review criteria and it was found it did not provide a strong enough case. He said what is a reasonable size accessory structure needs to be defined. Brixius said it should be studied if the size should be for both detached and attached and whether it is cumulative to include other structures on the lot. Brixius refers to Council member Sippel’s comments included in the packet. He said floor area needs to be defined along with height restrictions. Brixius said Sippel is suggesting the size be limited to allowable footprint and allowing rafter space. Brixius said there is no current code regarding plumbing in an accessory structure. He said plumbing and electrical become the potential for home businesses and rental properties. Brixius said accessory structures also need to be studied in relation to the primary structure.

Brixius said Orono has a circumstance where the restrictions are based on the size of parcel. Brixius said Spring Park does not compare to Orono in parcel size. Brixius said the Rehman property is approximately 14000 feet. He said if 10% was allowed he could have had 1400 square feet. Brixius said hardcover becomes an issue and Engineer Pearson might need to weigh in on this for drainage purposes. Brixius said Orono’s code also restricts the accessory structure to disallowing plumbing fixtures preventing rental potential. Brixius said Minnetonka Beach have similar issues in terms of lakeshore but they were more generous in allowing larger accessory buildings and it is cumulative.

Brixius said also included is Delano’s code as it establishes a limit on AB, it establishes sizes per zoning district and if it’s attached, they don’t allow the attached to go over 80% of the primary dwelling. Brixius said in each case there is some flexibility on setbacks. Brixius said a lot of communities go to smaller setbacks (five feet). Brixius said if the building size is increased there will have to be flexibility on impervious surface.

Brixius said he had at first just removed the CUP option and limited the accessory structure to 1000 square feet but he feels this is insufficient. Hoffman had a question about Orono’s lot sizes. Mason said regarding size of property/size of house, a percentage allowance would seem reasonable. He said he looks for improvement to the lot, perhaps removing substandard structures. Brixius wondered if Mason was looking at a limit of 10% coverage. Brixius said right now, everyone is entitled to 1,000 square feet and it could be made that or 10%, whichever is greater. He said in the case of smaller lots, would 1,000 square feet be considered too much. Kaczanowski wonders about putting too many restrictions because he agrees, they should look for lot improvement. Hoffman likes the percentage where garages can’t become larger than the principal structure. Brixius said there could be such a thing where if the garage is attached, it can’t exceed the size of the primary structure. Hoffman said if someone is going to build one structure that includes a garage he feels there shouldn’t be restrictions except to hardcover and setbacks. Hoffman said he thinks an attached garage is considered attached if it has common footings and is part of the design element of the house.

Another discussion is about whether to allow plumbing. Mason agrees with Kaczanowski’s original analysis in that a wash sink would be allowable but stipulate no shower/bath and no toilet. Hoffman said the original code was to prevent people from living in garages. Hoffman said he’s personally okay with a toilet. He said he’s not in favor of showers being allowed.

Hardcover. Hoffman feels strongly about this and he is not in favor of adjusting this. Brixius said the DNR allows 40% hardcover. The Minnehaha Watershed District also must comment on this increase. He believes the city engineer can draft a list of five options to slow the rate of flow and treatment options. Hoffman said right now he thinks accessory buildings are limited to one and perhaps one other regarding a shed under 100 square feet. Brixius thinks this should be made very clear. Hoffman is in favor of keeping it to one accessory structure. Brixius said Delano stipulates the total is limited to one attached, one detached or two detached if not attached. Mason is in favor of two detached structures. Kaczanowski likes the second structure being limited to a small shed-type size. Hoffman is not in favor of more than one accessory building given the character of the neighborhood. Garages have a specific use to store a car but they can be used for other things. Hoffman said if he designs a house and he wants ¾ of the house to be garage and ¼ to be house, that’s his right. He’s concerned we’re getting involved in design limitations. Brixius said communities do have architectural standards. He said if by definition an accessory building is subordinate then it shouldn’t outsize the house. He said one way is to not allow the accessory structure to exceed the size of the house or have a cumulative limit.

Brixius said if a cap is set, do they include both attached and detached or percentage of lot area; Brixius will look at both. Brixius said recapping the discussion, an attached garage needs to have common footings, as far as plumbing would a wash sink/toilet be allowed, the number of accessory buildings to be capped at two and limit the size of the second to a small shed, impervious surface should be given a menu of drainage options. Hoffman wonders about floor drains. Brixius said they don’t like garage floor drains going into the storm sewer. Kaczanowski wonders if the square footage should be discussed further. He said 1,000 square feet is a four car garage. Brixius said 200 feet more isn’t that much. He said stipulations should be design standards. Kaczanowski wonders about ratio and attached garage cannot exceed a certain ratio. Brixius said if it was limited to 80%, given the small houses in Spring Park it almost makes it too small to do anything.

a. Council Minutes December 2, 2013
b. Council Minutes December 16, 2013


9. ADJOURNMENT – Kaczanowski makes a motion and Mason seconds to adjourn at 8:17 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.