September 14, 2016, Planning Minutes

SEPTEMBER 14, 2016 – 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 Jeff Hoffman, Chair; Michael Mason; Catherine Palen; and Pete
Present: Kaczanowski

Planning Commissioners Max Avalos

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/Kaczanowski, S/Mason to adopt the agenda.

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Planning Commission Meeting Minutes from August 10, 2016

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

Motion carried 4-0.

a. Outdoor Storage Discussion - City Planner Brixius presented draft ordinance language regarding outdoor storage based on the discussion at the July and August 2016 Planning Commission Meetings.

Commissioner Kaczanowski asked for clarification on the 30 foot limitation for recreational vehicles.

City Planner Brixius responded that any vehicle larger than 30 feet would overwhelm most sites in Spring Park.

Commissioner Mason asked what will happen to the residents who already have a 30 foot boat or motor home. He questioned if they would be grandfathered in.

The Planning Commission consensus is to remove the 30 foot restriction on recreational vehicles and instead have a 5-foot setback rule from the edge of the street so it can be easily measured and enforced. This would also help with lots that can fit a recreational vehicle that is larger than 30 feet.

Commissioner Palen stated that if the goal is to try and manage the summer and winter recreational vehicles then it is fair to say that residents will put away their winter toys in the summertime. There are a lot of seasons connected to a lake but the City has to keep the clutter under control. Furthermore, she believes that if a resident has a large recreational vehicle then it would be reasonable to think that they would want to properly store such a large investment.

City Planner Brixius responded that the Planning Commission needs to decide how much outdoor storage they want to accommodate in a lake community. Spring Park has a leisurely environment where people want to use their amenities.

Chair Hoffman stated that Mound has a limit of five licensed items which would include trailers, cars, recreational vehicles, etc.

Commissioner Kaczanowski stated that he doesn’t want Spring Park to be more restrictive than neighboring communities.

Chair Hoffman believes that five is a practical number for outside storage. It is within reason to have two cars and three recreational vehicles outside especially since you would still have space in your garage or sheds for more items if you would like. Five items is a lot to store outside on your property.

Commission Kaczanowski requested information regarding outdoor storage restrictions in neighboring lake communities for the next Planning Commission Meeting.

Chair Hoffman is in favor of having a time period in the language so that if there is a complaint the Code can actually be enforced. Also, he stated that seasonal storage is not the main issue with the outdoor storage discussion; the main issue is people using their yards for permanent storage.

City Administrator Tolsma stated that off-lake properties that have dock rights should be addressed in the language.

Commissioner Mason commented on covering outdoor items for a better presentation.

Chair Hoffman understands covering outdoor items but doesn’t want the City to be littered with blue tarps.

Commissioner Kaczanowski stated that a blue tarp doesn’t address the issue of storing items outside that are not in good, useable condition.

The Planning Commission consensus is to clarify the language regarding fish houses to make sure they are not being used year round as boat houses, cabins/campers, or storage sheds.

Chair Hoffman questioned if the section regarding construction and landscaping material should be tied to an active building permit.

City Planner Brixius responded that not all projects will require a permit, so having a 30 day time limit will help with complaints from neighbors from piles of material that never move.

Commissioner Mason asked if there is the option for an exception to the 30 day limit.

City Planner Brixius responded that there is some discretion with enforcement but 30 days is a fairly reasonable timeframe to have it cleaned up.

The Planning Commission requested more detail regarding investigation and enforcement of complaints regarding potential code violations.

City Planner Brixius responded that after a complaint is received there is a site inspection and a letter is sent to the property owner with a notice to clean up the violation or there will be a citation issued.

City Administrator Tolsma stated the City receives approximately 3-5 written complaints per year. Complaints must be made in writing and there is a proximity requirement so you can’t file a complaint for somebody who lives across town. All complainant information is kept confidential. If a resident notifies a Council Member or Planning Commissioner of a potential violation the resident should be referred to City staff.

Commissioner Palen asked about the language for storage pods.

City Planner Brixius stated he has drafted language for storage pods and will bring it the next meeting.

City Administrator Tolsma stated he wanted the next discussion to include “hoop-houses” since they are prevalent in Spring Park.

City Planner Brixius will add language regarding hoop-houses. He stated that the new language could treat hoop-houses like accessory structures since they are basically used as permanent storage in Spring Park.

Chair Hoffman believes hoop-houses are a safety issue because they have no regulations and frequently cave in. If a resident wants a permanent structure then they should apply for a permit and build something safe.

City Planner Brixius stated he will bring language for commercial and industrial outdoor storage to a future meeting as well but wants to complete the review of residential storage first.

b. Draft Floodplain Ordinance Discussion - City Planner Brixius presented draft ordinance language regarding updating the floodplain ordinance.

City Planner Brixius stated that the model ordinance from the State is excessive so he prepared a pared down version that is appropriate for Spring Park. He commented on changes including allowing docks and boat lifts in the floodway district and adding language regarding the Marina Shopping Center area where the ordinance should address allowable uses to accommodate a proposed brewery/taproom in that area.

The Planning Commission consensus was to move forward with the changes presented and reevaluate in October.

City Planner Brixius is going to discuss the proposed changes with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources before the October Planning Commission Meeting.


8. MISCELLANEOUS – City Administrator Tolsma announced the following events:
• 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.
• City Council, Planning Commission and staff annual appreciation dinner on September 29.


M/Hoffman, S/Kaczanowski to adjourn the Planning Commission Meeting at 8:24 p.m.

Motion carried 4-0.

Date Approved: October 12, 2016

Theresa Schyma, City Clerk
Dan Tolsma, City Administrator