April 10, 2013 Planning Commission Minutes

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


3. ROLL CALL - Mason, Struck, Erickson, Kaczanowski, Hoffman

4. ADOPT AGENDA – Mason said he has something to add under misc. Erickson makes a motion and Mason seconds to adopt the agenda. All votes ayes, motion carries.

5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Mason makes a motion and Erickson seconds to approve the minutes. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from March 13, 2013 -

a. Memo from NAC regarding Alternative Energy Requirements – Brixius said there is a draft ordinance attached for discussion. He said definitions have been included diagrams have been included as well. Brixius said this will be added to the general section. He said geo-thermal into the lake was explored but, if the coils are damaged, it rests with the city and the property owner. He said damage could occur because of boat anchors and fishing lures. Brixius said closed loop systems are recommended. He said setbacks for the piping system and above ground equipment a ten foot setback is recommended. He also said they shouldn’t be allowed in the Shoreland Impact Zone which is 25 feet out from the shoreline. He said shoreline filters with natural vegetation could be encouraged. Brixius said the abandonment period is one year. Erickson wondered if a geo thermal system is abandoned would it have to be filled in and Brixus confirmed. Brixius said there are contamination concerns. Kaczanowski wonders how that is certified and Brixius said a permit would have to be applied for including proper inspections. Brixius said he could add that a building permit be required. Kaczanowski asked about the 50 foot lake setback and feels it should be sacred. Brixius said he holds the 50 foot shoreline setback standard for solar type boat lifts but felt differently about the geothermal because it's below ground. He feels the lots are so small to begin with and that’s why he considered it. Erickson agrees he is concerned about infringing on the 50 foot shoreline setback too. Kaczanowski thinks, at a minimum, the 25 foot should be adhered to. Hoffman said certain BTU’s are required and it could be restrictive if it’s not allowed. Hoffman said the chemicals are biodegradable so are not considered to be contaminants.

Kaczanowski wonders where the concern is. He said is the concern for the lake as a whole or for alternative energy for all homes. Brixius said the DNR would allow this. He said the city would have to be comfortable with this. He said the underground loop would be six feet under. Erickson thinks periodic inspections should be conducted if this is allowed within the 50 foot zone to protect from abandonment or contamination. Hoffman wonders if a licensed contractor would conduct the inspection. Brixius said he would contact building inspections to see if they would be capable of managing this and what the requirements are. Mason asked who established the 50 foot setback. Brixius said the state establishes this and it's unique to Spring Park because of the small lots. Hoffman asked if the 25 foot Shoreland buffer zone remains sacred. Hoffman also asked about unique properties within the city with retention ponds. Brixius said he doesn’t believe there is anything other than Presbyterian Homes has a retention pond.

Brixius addressed wind energy. Hoffman wonders if there should be a certified engineer sign-off for mounting purposes. Struck wonders if this shouldn’t hold true for ground mounted as well. Struck said regarding the rotor blade clearance of 20 feet from the nearest tree, the part of the tree should be designated. Brixius said he would hold it to the tree canopy. Tolsma wondered about a tree branch and a roof-top mount. Hoffman said in the commercial district blade length was defined. Brixius said he restricted the height and there were so many variables so he didn’t want to dictate a blade length. Hoffman said there are wind generators for boat lifts and he wonders if this should be incorporated. Brixius said their size would have to be limited. Hoffman said there’s a direct proportion of the blade diameter to how much power is generated. Brixius wondered if the PC really wants to allow wind generators at the lakeshore for boat lifts. Mason thinks a solar panel is more practical and less obtrusive. Kaczanowski favors being more restrictive now and removing it later if it is found to not be a problem. Brixius said he can show the PC a model. Hoffman is in favor of wind power at the lake but restricting the size. When discussing allowable blade lengths the PC agreed that 15 feet is too large because it ends up being a 30 foot circumference. Brixius said he will rework that. Hoffman said currently if a property owner designs their own setup, building official approval is all that’s needed. Struck wondered if the structure is removed, should they be required to restore and Brixius said he thinks that’s a good addition and will add it. Brixius said screening is difficult because it impedes function. Brixius said this should be looked at as an accessory use versus a conditional use.

Planning Commission decides to bring this back for another meeting before going to public hearing. Hoffman wondered about a moratorium. Brixius said there aren’t any pending applications. Kaczanowski asked if someone walked in the door right now are we going to be protected from a problem like Orono is having. Brixius said there are some protections in the city’s ordinance already that Orono didn’t have.
b. Note from Scott Qualle, Building Inspector
c. Memo from Wendy w/code language from City of Minnetonka
d. Draft Ordinance Alternative Energy System Regs

a. Council Minutes March 18, 2013
b. Draft Council Minutes April 1, 2013

a. Hennepin Youth Sports Program Grant Criteria, Application – Tolsma said this grant has been received by Spring Park twice. He said there are two pools, one for larger capital projects and one for equipment projects. Tolsma said this is just something to keep in mind for future projects. Tolsma thinks the grant application process could be incorporated into the park discussions. He said if there is a strong consensus, we can apply for the grant. Kaczanowski thinks a small soccer field or another basketball court could be something for Wilkes Park. Mason wondered about play equipment or the walking path previously suggested for Thor Thompson. He said they are simple things that aren’t that costly. Struck said picnic shelters could incorporate park programs for youth. Hoffman said a homework assignment could be delegated to think about what a grant could be written for.

Mason wondered about past public hearings and wondered about reading the public hearing notice. He said it used to be a part of the meeting and it hasn’t happened lately. Hoffman said rather than reading it out loud it can be accepted and entered into the minutes.

Kaczanowski asked about new suggestions, proposals or ideas brought forward. Hoffman said documents can be submitted ahead of time or the commissioner can ask for items to be added to the agenda. Tolsma said if there are any documents a commissioner would like to be incorporated in the packet they should be supplied no later than the Thursday before the meeting. Hoffman encourages documents submitted in the packet so they can be prepared. Tolsma said presentations can be prepared for too.

Mason asked about the fire hydrant flushing. He wondered if there’s going to be a scheduled maintenance flushing. Tolsma said Goman has a methodology to his hydrant flushing and he’s not sure what that is. Erickson said they should be flushed periodically. Tolsma said it’s an item for discussion for the upcoming work session.

9. ADJOURNMENT – Erickson makes a motion and Struck seconds to adjourn at 8:25 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.