May 14, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes

1. CALL TO ORDER -Hoffman called the formal meeting together at 8 p.m.


3. ROLL CALL - Mason, Tempero, Hoffman. Kaczanowski and Struck excused. Administrator Tolsma, Clerk Lewin, Planner Brixius, Resident John Perry.

4. ADOPT AGENDA - Seeing no additional items to add to the agenda, Mason makes a motion and Tempero seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.

5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES - Mason makes a motion and Tempero seconds to approve the minutes. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from April 9, 2014

a. Thor Thompson Tour (Done by 7:45) - Items of concern/housekeeping:
• Accessibiity
• Handicapped parking space
• Pea rock around playground equipment is difficult for wheel chairs
• Consideration to a gravel perimeter path around the park with exercise stations - such as a circuit.
• A path or sidewalk leading from the trail to the park
• Drain tiling the standing water to the holding pond
• Spacers missing on the wood playground structure (bridge)
• Better picnic tables
• Additional bench for parents to sit
• Safety rubber on baby swing is cracked and broken
• Replace the water fountain
Tennis Courts:
• Stripe the second court for pickle ball
• Power wash the tennis courts
• Fill the tennis court cracks
• Trim the bushes in front of the signage for tennis courts
• Turn on the water fountain at the tennis courts
• Dog Park located to the south of the fenced courts
• Reset bench as it's tilting backwards
Thor Thompson Baseball Field:
• Parking area needs to be striped
• Handicapped parking needs to be identified
• Additional ag lime to base paths
• Ag lime instead of sod (mud) around dugout entrances
• Ag lime path from dugouts to home plate instead of sod (mud)
• Sweep dugouts
• Sweep bleacher pads
• Sweep cobwebs from ceilings of dugouts
Wilkes Park:
• Community garden
• Definite drainage issues due to the lake level being high
• Suggestion to make the park more level
• Youth soccer field (Kaczanowski)
• Dog park (Mound Rotary Club)
• Trash receptacles need to be upgraded
• Jagged edges on merry-go-round
• Picnic tables need to be upgraded/repaired/or replaced. Could use Plasti-grip to recoat the picnic table benches as the table frame is still in good condition.

b. Lakeside Accessory Structure Discussion (Start by 8:00)
Hoffman explained he was contacted by the Mayor and the Planning Commission is being asked to revisit accessory buildings on lakeside setbacks.

Brixius said on April 21st the council approved the proposed ordinance but added to prohibit a detached accessory structure between the principal structure and the shoreline. Council felt this wasn’t previously considered and only locational setbacks were discussed. In other words, if it could meet the setbacks, it would be allowed. John Perry, 4516 West Arm Rd, is proposing an addition on his home. He has an existing utility easement and he is interested in a 500 square foot accessory structure. Brixius said the initial review showed everything in compliance. However, the council upon hearing about the application made a determination that an accessory building between the principal structure and the shoreline could be detrimental and they did not want to establish a trend. Brixius said the concern is these accessory structures could become dwelling units. A provision was allowed for open air structures such as gazebos.

Brixius said the ordinance represents what was adopted. The provision changed is provision d., setbacks, stating it can’t be located between the primary structure and the lakeshore. Perry’s request came at the time the council and PC were reviewing the accessory structure ordinance.

Hoffman said to summarize, as the application is now, the ordinance the PC proposed would permit this but the ordinance adopted would not allow this. Hoffman recalls previously talking about this because an example used was a pool with a pool house. He said a pool house will have toilet facilities but he feels it’s an acceptable use so, he remembers discussing this in that context. Hoffman said he’s concerned because no one is guaranteed a view. He said as long as a lot can accommodate a proposed accessory structure, without needing a variance, he thinks it should be allowed. He is opposed to not allowing someone to do what they want with their property. Mason said he understands existing boathouses are allowed. He wonders if other cities should be consulted in order to find out what they allow. Brixius said boathouses usually were allowed with the exception to the 50 foot setback. Brixius said what we’re looking at is except for the easement splitting his property, Perry could add onto his house up to 50 feet of the lake. Hoffman said he didn’t want to put labels on accessory structures because it could be a pool house, a green house, a studio. Mason wonders about a scaled down version and he is offering some suggestions to help this work. Perry said he is designing this to not block views and with how high the houses sit up on the hill, they wouldn’t be blocking views as they would look over this structure. Perry said his neighbor is interested in relocating the easement along with Perry and they are in the process of getting cost estimates.

Hoffman said there are two absent commissioners and he would also like their feedback.
Hoffman said he thinks it would be acceptable to schedule a public hearing and it could be discussed along with feedback from the missing members. Tempero said his neighbor has put up a row of arborvitae that will someday totally block his view. He understands that this is allowed and he can't do anything about it. Tempero asked if the roof of the accessory structure is about the height of the basement of the primary structure. Perry said he doesn’t have the exact calculations but his intent is to have the roof of the accessory structure no higher than one foot or so than the basement level. Tempero wonders if that’s something that could be written into the ordinance that the height of the access structure can’t exceed a certain height above the basement level of the primary structure.

Brixius said they should publish for the public hearing and try to examine the proposals that could come forward. He said there has to be protections built in for those who are not conscientious about what they are building. He said this feedback will be brought back to the council. Brixius thinks Perry has a practical hardship with the easement going through his property. Perry feels not being allowed to do this takes away the value of his property. He knows the proposed accessory structure would add to the value of his property. Brixius said the city's concerns are these accessory structures turning into rental, home occupation or a businesses.

Sarah Struck's Comments: I did read the notes and if I can comment via email; I am in favor of the language proposed in May 6, Memorandum from NAC re: Spring Park - City Council amendment to accessory building ordinance.

My reasoning is based on having some green space remaining in lake facing properties and for this really points to same line of thinking we discussed for accessory buildings on non-lake lots. The idea was to see fewer buildings and more green space, avoid unnecessary clutter on small lots. The same should apply to larger lots. For me, particularly when the shore is viewed from the lake and enjoyed by many from all directions I think there is a greater onus to monitor the number and types of buildings and style. I agree with the council's comments in the document.

c. Sign Application -
(Sign applicant (David Linnell) met the commissioners during the park tour because he had another appointment: He said at some point he may be interested in having a permanent sign that sticks out perpendicular to the building to catch commuters eye. Linnell said he will be storing the rental boards in a trailer but during the day they will be on the lakeside. He said he has been having conversations with "Jessica" of Hennepin County and Tonka Grille has been nice about using the dock space.)

Back at city hall, after the park tours, Brixius said there was a sign application for Black Oar. 4010 and 4012 Shoreline Drive. He said they are proposing two non-illuminated signs. He said since they’re occupying two tenant bays they are allowed signage across both. Brixius said the signs went up without primary approval and the question is whether to penalize. Brixius said there is also concern about where inventory is going to be stored. He said there have been some issues in the past about dock storage along Del Otero so he doesn't want this to become a problem. Hoffman feels the signage being put in place before the sign application was a clear violation and thinks the penalty is necessary. Commissioners agree that the $200 penalty is necessary. It is noted other businesses have been penalized for unapproved signs.

a. Council Minutes April 21, 2014
Council Work Session Minutes April 28, 2014 - Mason has a change on the council minutes regarding a unanimous vote. Mason said he voted in favor of the variance proposal but the variance failed.


9. ADJOURNMENT - Hoffman made a motion and Tempero seconded to adjourn the meeting at 8:33 pm. All votes ayes, motion carries.