December 14, 2016 Planning Minutes

DECEMBER 14, 2016 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Chair Hoffman at 7:02 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 Catherine Palen.

Planning Commissioners Absent: Pete Kaczanowski.

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


M/Mason, S/Palen to adopt the agenda.

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from November 9, 2016

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

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Back Channel Brewing Conditional Use Permit Application – City Planner Brixius provided a summary report of the application, site plan review and planning report for Back Channel Brewing Collective, 4787 Shoreline Drive.

City Planner Brixius stated that he recommended approval of the application with the 11 conditions listed in the report. He further stated that he would recommend including one additional condition to require the applicant to provide an elevational drawing of the outside seating area to scale.

i. Open Public Hearing – Chair Hoffman opened the public hearing at 7:26 p.m.

Ian Maloney, 4710 West Arm Road, stated the he believes his neighborhood is generally in favor of this new business but he has concerns regarding noise issues. He added that based on the proposed plans it doesn’t appear that his neighborhood will be affected as much as the residents that live close to Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge but wants to ensure it won’t become an issue in the future.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that Back Channel Brewery has not indicated any plans for outdoor concerts but that there is a permitting process for outdoor music if that should change in the future.

Josh Leddy, CEO and Brewer of Back Channel Brewery, added that the main goal of his business is to educate customers about the brewery and its products which is difficult to do with loud music. He further stated that the brewery will close by 11 p.m.

Melissa Langseth, CXO and Taproom Manager of Back Channel Brewery, stated that they do not want the brewery to be a party location. Their goal is to have a business that brings the community together.

Sera Maloney, 4710 West Arm Road, stated that she is in favor of the new business and that it will be a great addition to the community. She added that she would like more thought put into the landscape plan since it is a great opportunity to improve the appearance along Shoreline Drive.

ii. Discussion –Commissioner Palen stated she is excited about Back Channel Brewery coming to Spring Park but has questions about the landscape plan because the area does need improvement.

Mr. Leddy responded that the initial landscape plan did not include much detail because they were still researching the property lines and right of way.

City Administrator Tolsma responded that the City has no right of way along Shoreline Drive; if there is any right of way it would belong to Hennepin County but typically everything goes right up to the sidewalks.

City Planner Brixius recommended adding Condition #12 – The applicant’s landscape person/master gardener must meet with City staff to develop a more detailed landscape plan.

The Planning Commission consensus was to add Condition #12 as stated.

Commissioner Mason questioned if the brewery would be selling their product to other bars and distributors.

Mr. Leddy responded that initially he is considering distributing their product on a limited basis and it would only be as a way to promote people to come to the brewery in Spring Park, not as a way to have their product sold to local bars or other distributors.

iii. Close Public Hearing

M/Palen, S/Hoffman to close the public hearing at 7:48 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0.

iv. Recommendation to Council

M/Mason, S/Palen to recommend to the City Council to approve the Conditional Use Permit Application for Back Channel Brewing Collective, 4787 Shoreline Drive, with the 11 conditions listed in the initial report and adding Condition #12 – The applicant’s landscape person/master gardener must meet with City staff to develop a more detailed landscape plan and Condition #13 – The applicant must provide an elevational drawing of the outside seating area to scale.

Motion approved 4-0.

Mr. Maloney requested that Spring Park update the City Code to define landscape requirements like most other surrounding communities.

Chair Hoffman responded that the City Code can be updated but the real issue is that the City is currently lacking a method of enforcement.

City Administrator Tolsma stated the consideration of the conditional use permit for the brewery will now move forward to the December 19 City Council Meeting.

b. Comprehensive Plan Preview - City Planner Brixius provided a summary of the 2040 Comprehensive Plan proposal. He discussed the work program in detail including draft tasks and timelines. He further stated that he believes there won’t be many substantial changes from the 2030 Comprehensive Plan and asked each commissioner to look at the current plan to prepare for the tactics interviews that will be conducted in 2017.

Chair Hoffman questioned if it would be a similar process compared to ten years ago in regards to community involvement and separate committees to get additional feedback.

City Planner Brixius responded that is definitely an option for the City Council to consider. He added that during the last process the tactics interviews were also expanded to include major property owners in the City.

Commissioner Mason encouraged open communication to get people involved and interested including putting information in the City newsletter.

Commissioner Avalos questioned if expanding the current City parks for the betterment of the community was currently listed as a task in the Comprehensive Plan.

City Planner Brixius responded that currently there is not a specific “Parks Plan” but that it could be added so that the issue is researched and addressed. He further stated that if a park study is conducted then it could potentially identify “parks improvement” as a goal but no specific locations or properties would be identified in the study for future resale.

City Planner Brixius discussed a handout regarding truck classifications that he would like the Planning Commission to review prior to the next discussion related to outdoor storage.


8. MISCELLANEOUS – Chair Hoffman thanked Council Member Bren for her service on the City Council and also for her hard work as the Planning Commission Ex-Officio. He also offered his appreciation to Commissioner Palen for her service on the Planning Commission and wished her well on the City Council.

City Administrator Tolsma discussed the proposed public hearing dates regarding outdoor storage. He suggested moving the date from February to May due to the fact that Spring Park is a “snowbird” city and more community feedback would be received in May.

Commissioner Mason added that moving the date back would also give the Planning Commission time to get back to full membership since this is Commissioner Palen’s final meeting.

The Planning Commission consensus was to move the hearing to spring of 2017.

Commissioner Avalos suggested that the public hearing still be mentioned in January’s newsletter and that more detailed information be made available online so that residents have time to review the materials before the public hearing.

The Planning Commission discussed ideas for advertising the Comprehensive Plan, outdoor storage public hearing, and vacancies on the Planning Commission including, but not limited writing an article in the City newsletter, posting information online, at the Spring Park Post Office, and at apartment buildings, using the digital message board at the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Water Patrol Station, and word of mouth.


M/Mason, S/Avalos to adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 8:28 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0.

Date Approved: January 11, 2017

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator