December 10, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes

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


3. ROLL CALL – Mason, Struck, Hoffman, Kaczanowski, Ex officio Bren. Tempero absent.

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

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from October 8, 2014 – Mason makes a motion and Kaczanowski seconds to approve the minutes. All votes ayes, motion carries.

a. Manufacturing District Uses Draft Ordinance & Business Licensing Discussion
Brixius said he looked over the list of questions submitted by the Planning Commission. He said there is a need to legitimize things that are already being done. He said the concern is that the sites are zoned for manufacturing and parking is geared as such. He said if there was retail there would be higher parking demands. Brixius said Buttenhoff owns three parcels and one is exclusively for parking. He said nothing would prohibit development. He said if there is a trend towards retail, it would be important to have parking availability secured. Brixius said the Comp Plan identifies the Tonka Ventures building becoming obsolete. He predicts this area as potential commercial, mixed use, similar to the Lakeview and Mist Lofts.

Brixius attached aerial photos to his report showing parking spaces for the site. Hoffman asked if that included the surface lot. Brixius said the 67 spaces is the surface lot. Brixius estimates Spring Street and Shoreline Drive as having 32 spaces. An estimated generation for predominately warehousing and manufacturing of 230 for 1,2 and 3 buildings. He said there have been some parking issues on the west end with the truck bay and employee parking for Napa Auto. Brixius said originally it was specifically asked of Buttenhoff if the parking was sufficient for their needs and they said it was. However, they came forward last year and said it wasn’t.

Brixius said there are enforcement measures because of parking requirements. however this has been ineffective as it doesn’t come forward until it’s an issue. Brixius said New Hope has developed a policy called BUCO (Business Use Certificate of Occupancy) requiring building inspections after a fire. Brixius said the city should clarify with Mnspect what type of inspections would be required and how to budget for additional costs. He said there are enforcement options in terms of not issuing any building permits, sign permits or any opportunity for change without first complying with the ordinance.

Brixius said this potential change should be sent to the major business owners to inform them of the upcoming change and public hearing. Mason wonders why Buttenhoff doesn’t like to reveal what is in his building. Brixius said he doesn’t think it’s so much that as the fact that’s always the way it’s been done.

Kaczanowski wonders if this applies to all businesses or just the manufacturing. He wonders if this will apply to every business including existing and Brixius said present businesses will be okay but will have to comply with future changes. Struck wonders about it not being retroactive. Brixius said when there is a new business changeover it gives the opportunity to conduct inspections. He said inspections of housing requires annual inspections but he’s not sure about this. Struck thinks without looking at existing occupants, the process will be very slow to clear. Brixius said there is a reliance on building inspections according to the building permit and building code and fire code at the time. Kaczanowski wonders about building inspections and fire inspections. Brixius said one of the anticipated changes in the 2015 building code is residential square footage exceeding a certain limit, sprinklers must be in place. Mason wonders about the difference in the term assembly between the former Snap Fitness and the Dance Studio. Hoffman said insurance companies are starting to require annual inspections for safety. Brixius said the dance studio wasn’t going to have an exterior door where Snap Fitness did. Hoffman is in favor of checking on inspection costs and thinks it should be fee based. Brixius said these would be some numbers that would have to come from Mnspect. Hoffman said he would like to assemble a list of businesses. Hoffman agrees it is important to notify businesses of the potential change to the ordinance. Brixius said regarding timing, he thinks it would be good to bring this back in February in order to cover everything.

Mason wonders about business licensing and phasing it. Brixius said it would apply to change of ownership, new leases and perhaps new owners. Brixius suggests this be discussed at a staff meeting and ask Mnspect's guidance or suggestions. Struck wonders about a new lease and maybe renewed leases. Struck likes renewed lease to be a part of this. Kaczanowski wonders if this can be softened by saying this might be beneficial from an insurance standpoint. Perhaps insurance rates could go down if they’ve proved they are compliant with inspections. Hoffman said their basic duties are health, safety and welfare and this follows this. Struck also wants to remind the fact that environmental concerns regarding water contamination and hazard materials need to be known.

Hoffman likes the BUCO term versus licensing. He said BUCO is a certificate of occupancy and he likes that it is a one-time fee. Mason said when looking at businesses that have petroleum products, they are required to be inspected for safe practices and he feels this is the same thing.

Hoffman wonders if the changes in zoning and the business inspections should be separate. Tolsma said he thinks they should be separate as they are two different things. Hoffman wonders about having the public hearing for the zoning change in January and the business change in February. Tolsma said there is a new council starting in January so there is going to be a little learning involved. He thinks the BUCO should definitely be in February or March with an effective date in April or May. Bren wonders about Gentle Dentistry. She said this is an example of a business who started in one building and moved to another, both in Spring Park. She wonders if this would apply to this situation as well and Brixius said it would.

a. Council Minutes November 10, 2014
b. Council Minutes November 17, 2014
c. Council Work Session November 24, 2014

a. 2014 Attendance

9. ADJOURNMENT - Struck makes a motion and Kaczanowski seconds to adjourn the meeting at 7:40 pm. All votes ayes, motion carries.