May 10, 2017 Planning Minutes

MAY 10, 2017 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Chair Hoffman at 7:06 p.m.

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – Chair Hoffman led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Planning Commissioners Present: Jeff Hoffman, Chair; Michael Mason; Pete Kaczanowski; Max Avalos; and Bruce Homan.

Staff Present: Dan Tolsma, City Administrator; Al Brixius, City Planner; and Theresa Schyma, City Clerk.

Others Present: Catherine Kane Palen, City Council Member/Planning Commission Ex-Officio; and Pam Horton, City Council Member/Planning Commission Ex-Officio Alternate


M/Mason, S/ Kaczanowski to approve the agenda.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from April 12, 2017

M/Homan, S/Mason to approve the minutes.

Motion carried 5-0.

a. Outdoor Storage Public Hearing – Chair Hoffman detailed the procedures for the public hearing. He stated that public comment is important while the proposed ordinances are still in draft form with the Planning Commission. He added that even after the final ordinances move on from the Planning Commission; the City Council still has the opportunity to alter those ordinances.

i. Summary By Planner – City Planner Brixius presented a brief summary and history of the proposed ordinances. He further discussed complaint-based enforcement.

ii. Open Public Hearing

M/Mason, S/Avalos to open the public hearing.

Motion carried 5-0.

Carl Rosen, 4540 West Arm Road, stated his support for the proposed ordinances. He talked specifically about real estate values being impacted by neighboring properties and large recreational vehicles which create water run-off that is then displaced on a neighbor’s property. He also commented that the ordinance will not accomplish anything if “grandfather clauses” will be allowed for storage.

City Planner Brixius responded that grandfather rights are only available for land use and not temporary storage.

Garrett Schwingle, 3991 Sunset Drive, stated the proposed ordinance needs changes and spoke specifically about corner lots, grandfather clauses, inoperable vehicles and complaint-based enforcement. He added that starting an investigation based on a single complaint seems excessive. He suggested adding language requiring additional complaints before starting an investigation so that a property isn’t unfairly targeted by a single person. He also suggested changing the definition for “derelict” vehicles since his classic car would currently fall under this definition since he does not start it in the winter.

City Planner Brixius responded that he will look at reevaluating sideyard setbacks for corner lots. He also discussed the enforcement process after receiving a written complaint: 1) site visit by staff, 2) staff assess the situation and make a determination, 3) staff sends a certified letter to the property owner asking for corrective measures within 15-30 days, 4) if not corrected, the citation process begins, and 5) as non-compliance continues, there are progressive citation amounts. He added that Minnesota state law affirms that a violation of a zoning ordinance, where compliance has been refused, is a misdemeanor.

Danny Lemke, 3812 Park Lane, stated the proposed ordinances need changes. He specifically discussed the differences between front-yard and back-yard storage and suggested changing the language about storage “not affecting a finished lawn” due to hardcover restrictions in Spring Park. He added that there is a difference between defining requirements for responsible homeowners versus trying to change the reason that people live in Spring Park.

City Planner Brixius stated he will look at alternatives for the impervious surface requirements.

Paul Oake, 3813 Togo Road, concurred with Mr. Lemke’s statements.

Tom Trudel, 3910 Del Otero Avenue, stated his support for the proposed ordinances and spoke specifically about property value appreciation and the long-term storage of commercial vehicles that currently occupy his neighborhood.

Mike Roland, 2401 Interlachen Road, stated the proposed ordinances need changes and specifically questioned hoop-houses and grandfather rights. He understands that there needs to be some regulations for hoop-houses but stated that some of the hoop-houses in Spring Park have a better appearance than some of the sheds. He suggested a larger setback so that hoop-houses are further away from the road.

City Planner Brixius stated that he will look at setbacks for temporary structures and again stated that grandfather rights are only available for land use and not temporary storage.

Steve Erickson, 4367 Shoreline Drive, stated the proposed ordinances need changes and spoke specifically about set-backs and hoop-houses. He stated that due to the contour of his lot and being on a county road; there is no option for storage other than a hoop-house and no other location on his lot for outdoor storage.

Josh Clemons, 2486 Black Lake Road, stated that most of his questions had already been answered with the City Planner’s summary and previous discussion. However, he wanted clarification on lake vehicles in the floodplain area.

Alice Schultze, 4357 Channel Road, stated she does not want Spring Park to become too suburban but she does support the proposed ordinances and efforts to beautify the City. She added that, in regards to beautification, the rain garden on Channel Road needs to be better maintained if the City is really trying to clean things up.

Beth Aschinger, 2452 Black Lake Road, stated that homeowners should take care of their properties but does not want Spring Park to be overregulated like Orono. She suggested changing the dates for outdoor storage since it is very restrictive, especially for “snowbirds.”

Anne Marie Borne, 2473 Black Lake Road, stated her support for the proposed ordinances due to her past experience with an unkempt home in her neighborhood that was filled with trash, derelict vehicles, and even rodents. The City was not able to enforce anything and bring that property into compliance. She asked if the new ordinances would increase the ability to actually enforce non-compliance.

City Planner Brixius responded that the citation ordinance is already in effect but the proposed ordinances will clarify definitions and clear-up the “gray area” in the Code.

Jeff Garberg, 3902 Shoreline Drive, stated his support for the proposed ordinances and specifically commented on abandoned vehicles. He further concurred with Mr. Trudel’s comments regarding property value appreciation and the long-term storage of commercial vehicles.

Mark Kinter, 2468 Black Lake Road, stated that the section on recreational vehicles is ill-defined and that the two proposed ordinances don’t seem to agree when it comes to storage either being on or off a trailer. Also, he questioned the allowed length of recreational vehicles.

City Planner Brixius responded that after much discussion about the length of recreational vehicles the Planning Commission decided to remove the 30 foot maximum limit; however, it appears that the language was not removed from the draft ordinances so that will be corrected.

Bill Bartolotto, 2429 Black Lake Road, questioned why there isn’t proactive enforcement in Spring Park. If City staff drives by a property and sees that something isn’t licensed, he questioned why it wouldn’t be investigated.

City Planner Brixius responded that there isn’t enough staff for proactive nuisance enforcement.

City Administrator Tolsma added that staff will intervene in emergency situations that need to be addressed immediately if public health or safety is an obvious issue.

Chair Hoffman stated that while complaint-based enforcement is the current process, it doesn’t mean that Spring Park couldn’t have a code enforcement officer for proactive enforcement in the future.

Steven Vertnick, 4333 Channel Road, stated that he is a “snowbird” so the dates for allowable outdoor storage affect him and he believes they are restrictive. He further stated that he has a 27 foot recreational vehicle on his 30 foot lot and questioned what would happen in that scenario.

Chair Hoffman responded that the concern with that situation is public safety.

City Planner Brixius stated that the Planning Commission will have to take his comments and weigh them against the public safety aspect of the situation when considering the proposed ordinances.

Chair Hoffman added that dates for allowable outdoor storage need to be included in the ordinance. The Commission is open to adjusting the dates but there do need to be dates in the ordinance for enforcement.

Mrs. Aschinger suggested an alternative approach would be to include an allowable length of time instead of listing dates.

City Planner Brixius responded that language regarding length of time would be difficult to enforce because staff is not going know how long every item has been stored on each property in the City.

Kurt Saltvick, 4323 Shoreline Drive, questioned the 60 inch required height for screening and stated that the requirement seems a bit too high.

Mr. Schwingle questioned how this ordinance would affect his fence.

City Planner Brixius responded that fencing issues are not included in this ordinance since physical improvements to property are treated differently than storage.

Mike Erickson, 3934 Del Otero Avenue, stated his opposition to the proposed ordinances and spoke specifically about the fire wood section of the ordinance and the unique situation with boat storage on Del Otero Avenue. He suggested the language regarding fire wood be changed to four cords so that residents have a sufficient amount of wood for supplementing heat and recreational fire pits.

iii. Discussion

Chair Hoffman stated that based on the comments received during the hearing and via e-mail that the ordinances need another look. He does not believe the public hearing should be closed.

City Planner Brixius responded that he will make some changes to the ordinance and present the Planning Commission with several options at their June 14 meeting. The Commission will then decide on what revisions they would like to see in the ordinance before bringing it back to the residents and re-opening the public hearing on July 12. He further stated that after the June 14 meeting, the revised information will be re-posted for residents to view.

City Administrator Tolsma announced that 12 written comments were received from residents prior to the public hearing that were forwarded to the Planning Commission. Written comments were received from:

• Steve & Pauline Erickson, 4367 Shoreline Drive
• Kay Truwe, 4220 West Arm Drive
• Robert & Candace Keskitalo, 4341 Channel Road
• Tom Trudel, 3910 Del Otero Avenue
• Carl Rosen, 4540 West Arm Road
• Rick Rehman, 3942 Del Otero Avenue
• Mark & Kris Kinter, 2468 Black Lake Road
• Greg Vanderwilt, 3918 Del Otero Avenue
• Glenn & Marilyn LaBine, 3826 Budd Lane
• Ken & Kathie Olson, 4580 West Arm Road
• Lisa Larson, 2055 Dickson Avenue
• Nate Richter, 4317 Channel Road

iv. Close Public Hearing

M/Avalos, S/Homan to continue the public hearing to the July 12 Planning Commission Meeting.

Motion carried 5-0.

v. Recommendation to Council / Table for Further Discussion

b. Continuation of Food Truck Discussion – City Planner Brixius stated that tonight’s discussion was information only and no motion is required. He has researched food truck ordinances in other communities and is putting together a draft ordinance for the Planning Commission to consider at the June 14 meeting. This would enable the new ordinance to be in effect prior to Back Channel Brewery’s anticipated opening in July.

Commissioner Mason asked about Back Channel Brewery’s landscape plan.

City Planner Brixius responded that he has not yet received a plan but the brewery owners are aware that the requirements of the conditional use permit must be met prior to opening. He added that the landscape plan can be approved by staff.

a. April 3, 2017 Council Minutes
b. April 17, 2017 Work Session Minutes
c. April 17, 2017 Council Minutes
d. April 24, 2017 Goal Setting Minutes



M/Avalos, S/Homan to adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 8:41 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0.

Date Approved: June 14, 2017

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator