August 9, 2017 Planning Minutes

AUGUST 9, 2017 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Chair Hoffman at 7:01 p.m.

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


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

Planning Commissioners Absent: 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

4. ADOPT AGENDA - Commissioner Mason requested to add a discussion on the City’s parks to the agenda as Item #8a.

M/Mason, S/Avalos to approve the agenda as amended.

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from July 12, 2017

Commissioner Mason referenced a statement in the July 12 minutes and asked if there have ever been any written complaints about hoop houses.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that he has received written complaints for properties with hoop houses. The complaints were not specifically about hoop houses; however, hoop houses were one of many items mentioned within the complaint.

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

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Outdoor Storage Ordinance Discussion & Recommendation to Council – City Planner Brixius presented a summary of the proposed outdoor storage ordinance process in 2017.

Planning Commission Ex-Officio Kane Palen questioned the language on firewood storage not being allowed on lot lines since some neighbors share firewood.

City Planner Brixius responded that one cord of firewood would be allowed to be stored in that area of someone’s property because it is the amount of firewood that determines the area that it can be stored.

Commissioner Avalos questioned if the setback requirements on County roads were addressed after receiving a comment from a resident at the public hearing.

City Planner Brixius responded that the draft ordinance places the setback on County roads at 20 feet because most County right-of-ways are already at 16 feet.

Commissioner Mason requested a detailed explanation of the nuisance complaint process.

City Planner Brixius discussed the complaint-based enforcement process after receiving a written complaint: site visit by staff, staff assess the situation and make a determination based on Code, staff issues a letter to the property owner seeking compliance, if not corrected then the citation process begins, and the citation process repeats itself with additional fines and deadlines until the violation is corrected.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed a recurring complaint that City staff has received to gauge Planning Commission interest with including language in the draft ordinances to address the issue. Neighbors have complained about a resident who parks their limo half-in and half-out of his garage. Neighbors have stated it is unsightly when the garage door is open all year long due to the size of the vehicle and because of items stored in the garage making the vehicle unable to fit the space.

Commissioner Avalos asked if there is a violation of anything in the current City Code.

City Planner Brixius responded no, the current Code allows a personal/professional vehicle and the resident has stated that his limo is his personal vehicle.

Chair Hoffman stated that ordinances are drafted for the many, not the few. Not every specific issue from an individual property can be addressed.

The Planning Commission consensus was not to address this issue in the proposed ordinances.

M/Avalos, S/Kaczanowski to recommend to the City Council to approve draft ordinance language (dated June 22, 2017), amending Sections 18-181 and 18-184 of the Spring Park City Code related to public nuisances.

Chair Hoffman requested a roll call vote.

Motion approved 3-1. (Mason opposed; Avalos, Hoffman, and Kaczanowski all ayes)

M/Avalos, S/Kaczanowski to recommend to the City Council to approve draft ordinance language (dated June 22, 2017), amending Chapter 42 of the Spring Park City Code related to outdoor storage.

Chair Hoffman requested a roll call vote.

Motion approved 4-0. (Mason, Avalos, Hoffman, Kaczanowski all ayes.)

b. Next Comprehensive Plan Session Dates & Times - The Planning Commission consensus was to schedule the next Comprehensive Plan Committee Meeting for Wednesday, August 30 at 6 p.m.


a. Parks Discussion – Commissioner Mason asked for an update on the City Council’s progress with updating playground equipment at the City’s parks.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that Council Members Hughes and Pavot have formed an ad-hoc committee to research design option for the playground areas at the City’s two parks. They have met with playground equipment consultants and visited parks at neighboring cities for ideas. Discussions are still ongoing but the committee hopes to have recommendations to the City Council soon so that construction could begin in late Fall 2017 or early Spring 2018.

Commissioner Mason stated that the Planning Commission toured the parks approximately four years ago and made recommendations; he questioned whether or not those concerns were already addressed.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the issues that were brought up at that time were addressed including installing new picnic areas and trash receptacles, improving the path to the baseball field, and making the path to the basketball court accessible.

Commissioner Mason stated he would like to have a plaque located at each park explaining how its name came to be, having a rededication ceremony, and inviting surviving family members to the ceremony. He believes it is important to know the history and the significance as it relates to Spring Park.

Commissioner Kaczanowski offered his assistance to Commissioner Mason and also stated he wouldn’t mind taking the idea a step further and having historic markers around town (e.g. The Del Otero Hotel.)

The Planning Commission consensus was to have Commissioner Mason research ideas for signage to help direct staff. Furthermore, signage should be posted at the City’s two parks before deciding to further expand the idea of placing historical markers around Spring Park.

Commissioner Mason stated that he would like commercial outdoor storage addressed on an agenda in the very near future.

Commissioner Kaczanowski added that during the residential outdoor storage process many residents commented on the condition of commercial properties in the City.

Chair Hoffman agreed and stated that the Planning Commission could address this issue in 2018.

Commissioner Avalos questioned if the City receives written complaints on commercial properties.

City Administrator Tolsma responded yes and that most complaints are about one particular property in the City.


M/Mason, S/Hoffman adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 7:39 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0.

Date Approved: September 13, 2017

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator