April 27, 2015 Work Session

Those present: Goman, Beck, Brixius, Williamson, Bren, Horton, Pavot, Hughes, Catherine Palen.

1. Business Use Certificate Banners
a. City Planner Al Brixius will be in attendance to discuss the business use certificate process. Attached are several documents in the order listed below.
i. Planning Memo Dated March 4 Prepared for the April 8th Planning Commission Meeting
ii. April 8th Planning Commission Meeting Minutes
iii. Planning Memo Dated April 15 Prepared for the April 27th Work Session Meeting
iv. Comments Received April 21 from Business Owner Chester Yanik
v. Latest Version of the Business Use Certificate Ordinance
Williamson said this subject continues to come around time after time. He said water contamination and improper dumping has brought this once again to light. Brixius said most of the time the city doesn’t become aware of new businesses in the city until they come forward with a sign permit application. He said sometimes these businesses have not been appropriate for the zoning. He said this certificate will allow the city to catch this before this happens. He said this language is modeled after New Hope. Brixius said this is chapter ten of the city code, not the zoning ordinance and they’re adding a new section. Brixius said strictly office space will be treated somewhat differently in that they will be subject to an annual review versus every time a new lease is signed. Brixius said there was poor turnout at the public hearing; he expected better. Brixius said the application information will require information for the fire department and contact information, what kind of materials are used in the scope of their business and demonstration of required parking. He said a registration fee has been discussed and originally the language was for $50 however commissioners felt this should be more stringent. Brixius said Inspections will be assigned by the administrator and they will be inspected for building, fire and zoning code compliance.

Hughes asked about the timing. He wonders if it’s when they take occupancy or sign the lease. Brixius says occupancy but before they’re in the building. Hughes said he took a phone call regarding selling a business and the buyer is going to take over the existing business. He wonders do they keep the rights and privileges of the previous business. Brixius said as legal nonconforming it will remain but anything new will have to go through the business certificate process. Hughes still thinks office use only should still be required to comply with contact information. Brixius said all tenants will be listed and subject to an annual inspection. Hughes thinks there shouldn’t be lag time, anyone new in the office space should be required to inform the city. Horton asked why there is a reputation of some businesses not being forthcoming. Williamson said some don’t like government meddling but he said it can be just an excuse too. Bren thinks this is necessary due to the contamination of the water aquifer. Brixius said the Yacht Club thinks they might get better insurance breaks if they know the city is doing this. Pavot wonders if there is enough turnover among the businesses where this will be effective. Brixius said some buildings, yes. Williamson is concerned about leases already subject to inspection and standards applied by other government agencies, i.e. restaurants. He said for instance medical center and Pres Homes would be subject to regulation and he wonders about non interference. Brixius said building code is with the building inspector and fire is dealt with by the fire department. Brixius said what state inspectors or health inspectors are required to look for will be their jurisdictional items.

Williamson wonders when this would become effective. Brixius said upon publication. Williamson wonders if there is more time needed in order to get this together and up and running. Tolsma said it would take some time and a joint application has been discussed using logos from Mound Fire, Orono Police and the City. Williamson said they won’t take a vote tonight and if there are further questions, contact Brixius or Tolsma as this will be on a future meeting for adoption. Hughes wondered about single tenant but multiple uses such as the Drive-In. Brixius said they are just concerned with the building uses. He said flexibility is important but he is concerned what’s behind walls.

2. Banners Discussion
a. Public Works Director DJ Goman will be in attendance to discuss the potential installation of banners provided by Westonka Community Commerce for the summer. Attached is the current banner/flag/holiday decoration schedule that the city currently uses as a guide for when to put them up or take them down.
Goman said Williamson was approached by the Westonka Community and Commerce to resurrect the banner program. He said they’ve been decorating poles for many years now. He said there are two different sizes. Goman said there are cloth banners and vinyl banners. He said banners are up from Memorial Day to Veterans Day and the flags are put up and down on specific dates during the summer. He said the question is whether there is a timing obligation for display of the business purchased banners. Goman said there is no obligation from the city for display and there are no contracts signed. Hughes wondered if this is the same group as before and Williamson said yes. Hughes wondered during the protection of the banners do they use cotton stitching. Goman said the last go around was the cotton stitching and that’s what is on the cloth banners. He said with the vinyl, they stretch when they get warm. Williamson said the pluses are a visible benefit to businesses in our community in a sponsorship way. He said this will save the city money because businesses are providing the banners but the real expense is in the upkeep, the maintenance and the placement. He said it seems like a wash. He said the gesture is nice but he’s not so sure that all businesses are represented or participate. He said there is a proposition for new banners and they want to know if Spring Park will participate. Williamson said Orono has made a conscious decision for Navarre to create a new identity with a new banner and it’s more artsy. Williamson said therefore Orono will not be participating in the Westonka Community and Commerce banner campaign. Bren and Horton want to keep the banners exclusive for Spring Park. Hughes wants the Spring Park Identity. Pavot thinks it sounds like a lot of people and businesses to please and the hassle factor is high. Williamson said he will communicate with Westonka Community and Commerce that the City of Spring Park will not be participating but he will be complimentary.

• Williamson said he’s received some phone calls regarding some strange characters walking Shoreline Drive dressed as Ninjas. He contacted Orono Police and they are well aware of these people. He said some are alarmed by these costume-dressed people and Mound has an ordinance not allowing masks. Williamson said Orono can enforce this ordinance in Mound. He said the police can’t act upon the way someone dresses or looks but aggression or threats can be acted upon. Hughes is in favor of looking at the ordinance that Mound has regarding wearing a mask in public. Beck said face covering has to be addressed carefully because some religious observations require face covering. Hughes would like Beck to check into Mound’s ordinance. Pavot wonders about public nuisance laws. Williamson wonders about terroristic threats but he believes it requires intent.
• Beck said on the city attorney list serve there was a question regarding adoption of fee schedules whether by resolution or ordinance. She said some cities adopt by resolution and the League weighed in on this as correct adoption is by ordinance. She said different ordinances have individual fees and it can become burdensome to amend the ordinance. She said Spring Park followed suit on the informal nature of this but it needs to be adopted by ordinance. Beck said this needs to be put on a council agenda under ordinance and resolutions and then published.
• Hughes said the LMCD needs to have their budget done by July 1st and he has asked Greg Nybeck to attend a work session to explain.
• Williamson asked Beck and Tolsma to update the Park Island situation and the status of the O’Flannagan matter. Tolsma said regarding the Park Island issue there has been a letter prepared to the Gorra’s attorney informing them of concerns by the building inspector and stating a third party inspector/structural engineer will be brought in. Beck said she believes Gorra repaired the tunnel but did not do the work in the garage. Beck said when Qualle inspected recently he noticed the garage has deteriorated. She said the proposal is the building code permits the building official to hire a third party consultant and the offer is if the inspection proves to be a non issue, the city will pay the third party consultant. If the inspection proves repairs need to be made, the cost will be on Gorra. Tolsma said regarding the O’Flanagan property Brixius will provide O’Flanagan a visual overhead of his property and what changes need to be made and what is allowed.
• Tolsma said there is a meeting tomorrow with MPCA, Dept of Health for the 75% review for the water plant.

a. May Schedule - Public Access Channels

Meeting adjourned at 8:58 p.m.

Wendy Lewin, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator