August 10, 2016, Planning Minutes

AUGUST 10, 2016 – 7:00 PM

1. CALL TO ORDER - The meeting was called to order by Chair Hoffman at 7:00 p.m.

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


Planning Commissioners Jeff Hoffman, Chair; Max Avalos; Michael Mason; Catherine Palen;
Present: and Pete Kaczanowski (arrived 7:03 p.m.)

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

Others Present: Shirley Bren, Council Member/Planning Commission Liaison.


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

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from July 13, 2016

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

Motion carried 3-0. (Hoffman abstained)

a. Temporary Family Health Care Facilities Public Hearing
i. Open Public Hearing - City Planner Brixius presented a summary of recently-adopted legislation (Minn. Stat. § 462.3593) related to temporary health care dwellings including “opt-out” requirements and how it relates to Spring Park.

Commissioner Kaczanowski commented on the number of cities that are choosing to opt-out.

M/Hoffman, S/Kaczanowski to open the public hearing at 7:07 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0.

No members of the public spoke.

ii. Discussion - None
iii. Close Public Hearing

M/Hoffman, S/Kaczanowski to close the public hearing at 7:08 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0.

iv. Recommendation to Council

M/Mason, S/Avalos to recommend to the City Council to approve an ordinance amending the City's Zoning Code to "opt-out" of recently-adopted legislation (Minn. Stat. § 462.3593) related to temporary health care dwellings.
Motion carried 5-0.

b. Outdoor Storage Discussion - City Planner Brixius presented draft nuisance and zoning ordinance amendment language regarding outdoor storage based on the ideas discussed at the July 2016 Planning Commission Meeting to address the issues of outdoor storage, lot appearance, and junk nuisances. These are discussion only drafts to be edited further by the Planning Commission, staff and Council to create a workable ordinance for the City.

Chair Hoffman questioned if language should be added regarding a time limit for temporarily inoperable vehicles to address cars that need minor repairs and the owner is working on making the car operable.

City Administrator Tolsma suggested adding language regarding temporary repairs of less than 14 days would be exempt.

City Planner Brixius believes it would be better to write more strict language but give code enforcement the option or discretion to make a judgment call about repairs within 14 days.

Commissioner Mason asked whether enforcement is going to be on a complaint basis or if City staff would be able to initiate violations.

City Planner Brixius responded that generally code enforcement in Spring Park is on a complaint basis because there isn’t enough staff to walk the streets looking for code violations. The Planning Commission needs to decide if language should be added so that code enforcement is only done on a complaint basis or if it can also be staff initiated.

Commissioner Mason is in favor of code enforcement on a complaint basis only.

City Planner Brixius stated he will come back with examples of what certain recreational vehicle and boat lengths would potentially look like based on draft language.

Chair Hoffman stated that another option could be to not have a size limit but that the setback would have to be maintained.

Commissioner Mason questioned if an exception would be made for Black Lake Road since there might not be enough room for the residents to comply with the five foot rule.

City Planner Brixius responded that if the City is considering not putting a size limit for boats and trailers then the five foot rule is a good compromise. It is a public safety issue to not block the road and sightline.

Commissioner Mason stated that some streets don’t have five feet and that it is common sense to not block the road and sightline.

City Planner Brixius responded that all commissioners have seen current pictures and examples of people blocking the sightline. Exceptions should not be made involving issues of public safety. Some of the language changes will create the scenario that a small percentage of people will not be in compliance. However, those residents can always ask for a variance but public safety, snow removal, and emergency vehicle access will be some of the issues taken into consideration with every variance application.

Chair Hoffman stated that City Planner Brixius was presenting the draft language and his reasoning for why he drafted the language tonight. The Planning Commission has some homework to do with looking at each section in more detail and providing comments and suggestions so that the language can be discussed in more depth at a future meeting. Tonight is not the time to get into very detailed discussion on every item.

Chair Hoffman questioned if crushed/compacted rock is considered hardcover.

City Planner Brixius responded that crushed/compacted rock is considered hardcover. Also, language will be added so it is very apparent that residents need to comply with hardcover requirements as well as the other requirements.

City Planner Brixius stated that, before the next meeting, he would like the commissioners to think about and give some direction on the dates for allowable outdoor storage of items such as licensed boats, snowmobiles, ATV’s, etc.

City Administrator Tolsma suggested that there be some overlap in the dates due to weather changes.

Commissioners Avalos and Palen suggested adding examples in the ordinance. For example, a resident may not know what qualifies as manual propulsion lake equipment or seasonal upland lake equipment.

Chair Hoffman thanked everyone for a great discussion and encouraged all commissioners to make notes and be ready for a more in depth discussion at the next meeting.

City Planner Brixius discussed the nuisance ordinance and how it should be as specific as possible so that it can be enforced.

Chair Hoffman asked City Planner Brixius to look at the issue of storage pods since they can be rented for an indefinite amount of time.

City Planner Brixius discussed code language from the City of New Hope which states that there must be an ‘active building permit’ to address the storage pod issue.

Commissioner Avalos suggested adding a time limit so that the ordinance will include residents that are moving but don’t have an active building permit.

City Planner Brixius encouraged the commissioners to contact him or City Administrator Tolsma with any questions prior to the next meeting.

Chair Hoffman asked City Planner Brixius to prepare a summary of the changes suggested in tonight’s discussion instead of doing a complete re-draft of the ordinance language. The language can be modified after the next meeting when the Planning Commission agrees to the changes.

c. Draft Floodplain Ordinance Discussion

Chair Hoffman stated that the Planning Commission consensus was to defer this item to the next Planning Commission Meeting due to impending severe weather.

7. COMMUNICATIONS – Council Member Bren stated that the City Council candidate filing period is open until August 16 at 5:00 p.m.

8. MISCELLANEOUS – City Administrator Tolsma mentioned a tentative date for Heart Safe training with the Orono Police Department prior to the September 26 City Council work session. The City Council, Planning Commission, City staff and election judges are invited to attend the voluntary training. More detailed information will be communicated to everyone once everything is finalized.


M/Avalos, S/Kaczanowski to adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 8:05 p.m.

Motion carried 5-0.

Date Approved: September 14, 2016

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk

Dan Tolsma, City Administrator