April 8, 2015 Planning Commission Minutes

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


3. ROLL CALL – Mason, Struck, Kaczanowski, Tempero, Hoffman

4. ADOPT AGENDA – Hoffman said to be added under miscellaneous there will be a discussion regarding election of officers. Struck makes a motion and Mason seconds to adopt the agenda with the addition to miscellaneous. All votes ayes, motion carries.

5. APPROVAL OF MINUTES – Kaczanowski makes a motion and Struck seconds to approve the minutes. All votes ayes, motion carries.
a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from March 11, 2015

a. Public Hearing Business Licensing Certificate Amendment
- Memo from Brixius dated March 24, 2015
- Mailing list of businesses notified of potential amendment to ordinance
- Draft Ordinance
- Business Use Certificate Application - draft
- Mound Fire Commercial Building Information Sheet

Brixius said a letter was sent to commercial property owners along with draft copies of the ordinance and application. He said the goal is occupational fits for the zoning district. He said it is also a safety feature. Brixius said they are looking for identification of key holders and to make sure appropriate uses are within the buildings. Brixius said this has been attempted for a long time and usually the city finds out about new businesses when they apply for signage. Brixius said the city wants to know what the business is, who they are, what they do, do they have any haz mat materials. Brixius said some of the proposed ordinance language has been used from other cities. Brixius said this applies to new businesses from this point forward. He said it is specifically stated that sign and building permits will not be issued without the business certificate being approved. Brixius said he has spoken to the owners of the Yacht Club and because their building is mostly office building it’s being modified somewhat to reflect an annual inspection and to be certified for the entire building. Brixius outlined the required information in the business certificate application. Brixius said the registration fee is being suggested to be $50 to cover the required inspections. Brixius said doubling fees is necessary if occupancy has already taken place and the certificate has not been applied for. It is suggested that the inspections be performed by the building inspector and Mound Fire. He said certificates are not transferable and enforcement is achieved through administrative fines.

Hoffman opens the public hearing at 7:14 pm. Kaczanowski said the graduation of the timeline for fines has been suggested and he wonders how that will be established. Brixius said the thinking is $50 prior to occupancy and then graduated sums as the time goes on. Kaczanowski said he likes the idea of less painful increases with associated timing. Struck wonders if this is tied to the comp plan and Brixius said when addressing the manufacturing zone, the large Tonka Ventures building is identified in the comprehensive plan as redevelopment and it could become mixed use, housing, retail, etc. Brixius said with the comp plan they are looking for smooth transition for future businesses. Mason said he thought the reason for the process is to begin at the beginning. He wonders if this is happening too late. Brixius said they are trying to get this going before occupancy. He said once this is adopted, letters will be sent out to owners stating that cooperation of property owners is necessary. Kaczanowski wondered if there is a fire inspection required now and Mound Fire said there is not. Tempero asked about the covering of the costs for the building official and the fire department. Brixius said they based it on an hourly fee and one hour seemed like adequate time to perform the inspections. He said they want to make this affordable. He said there won’t be a lot of these inspections as they start out. Qualle said it won’t be necessary to do annual building inspections.

John Dennis of the Yacht Club said it benefits both sides. He said one time a year the business occupancy can be supplied to make sure everything is compatible. He said they are very careful when they screen their tenants. He said all their spaces are office space. Dennis said they own several buildings in different communities. He said in Waconia they have a building and they do have an annual fire inspection. Qualle said dependent upon the zoning, they are categorized as low, medium, high risk. High risk requires more frequent inspections compared to low risk. Mound Fire said typically the building inspector walks through first and notes what is in place. Qualle said it’s necessary to establish a business directory in order to know what businesses are in place and to be able to track new businesses that have started without a business certificate.

Mason said some businesses don’t have signs and may just have a name on a door and he wonders if they will be included in this process. Brixius said if it’s just an address and a name on a door, they are permitted for service delivery. Mason said he wonders about those buildings that have an internal space and still may have chemicals or safety hazards. Brixius said the idea is to get this going and there is not a sure-fire way to make everyone comply but it’s a start and gets access. Mason said it’s important to get the property owners to enforce this or the city will never know what's inside some of the large buildings. Qualle said the fire inspection will prompt discovery of non compliance. Dennis agreed. He said when the fire department comes through, they find things. Mason is concerned about internal businesses that only have a name on a door and it doesn’t prompt a business certificate. He thinks it’s probable there will be some of those.

Chair Hoffman closes the public hearing at 7:40 p.m. Hoffman said regarding adding additional language under 10-203, he said the wordage and/or can sometimes be misleading. Brixius said he will change it to or. Tempero thinks 'might' be the better word. Hoffman is concerned if the word 'and' is used, it would maybe require both owner and tenant apply. Struck wonders who would be the contact if there isn’t a business certificate on file and Brixius said both the property owner and tenant. Hoffman refers to Brixius’s memo at 10-205 and discussing the language for the fees. He wonders if they should be more specific. Kaczanowski suggests after seven days it goes to $75 and after 14 days it goes to $100. Struck wonders about after that and Brixius said beyond 30 days it goes to administrative fine process. Hoffman said he is looking for a motion recommending the business use certificate with Brixius’s additional language per the April 8 memo be moved to the council for review. Tempero moves to approve and Struck seconds. All votes ayes, motion carries.

b. Administrative Approval of Permanent Sign Request for LMCC - Hoffman said staff administratively approved this sign permit issue at its monthly staff meeting wherein Brixius reviewed the application.

a. Council Minutes March 2, 2015
b. Council Minutes March 16, 2015
c. Council Work Session Minutes March 23, 2015
d. 2015 City Council Directory

8. MISCELLANEOUS – Hoffman said at this time he will take nominations for Planning Commission chair and vice chair or re-establishment of officers. He said currently they are Hoffman as chair and Mason as Vice Chair. Hoffman said he is good with his position and Mason said the same. Mason makes a motion to retain the chairman and vice chair as current being Hoffman and Mason respectively. All votes ayes, motion carries.

Hoffman said he will have some items about parks and parking at the next meeting.

9. ADJOURNMENT – Kaczanowski makes a motion and Struck seconds to adjourn at 7:55 p.m. All votes ayes, motion carries.