1. Call to Order. The workshop session of the Council of the City of Rogers was called to order by Jay Bunting on Tuesday, April 22, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. at Rogers Activity Center, 21080 141st Avenue, Rogers, MN, 55374.
Council present: Mayor Jason Grimm (arrived at 6:15 p.m.), Councilors Robert Bell, Jay Bunting and Steve Rauenhorst.
Staff present: Chuck Burnham, City Planner; Jeff Carson, City Attorney; Stacy Doboszenski, Assistant City Administrator; Scott Lange, City Engineer; and Steve Stahmer, City Administrator.
Council excused: Jamie Davis.
2. Stone’s Throw Discussion on Master PUD Agreement and Rezoning
Attorney Carson introduced the purpose of the workshop and explained the process of a master planned unit development agreement and the rezoning application by Stone’s Throw. Carson stated the Council is not going to be dealing with final plans or plats during this process; Council is going to be asked to approve the rezoning along with the master planned unit development (PUD) agreement which will include zoning, ranges of densities, and uses. Carson stated this will change the zoning from agricultural to developable property. Carson then read from the Master PUD Agreement.
Attorney Carson further explained that the developer has a deadline of April 30, 2009 for the purpose of maintaining the funding for the project. Carson stated, in his opinion, the City is not at any risk in granting the zoning approvals and approving the master PUD agreement.
Carson reiterated the purpose of tonight’s workshop is to get any questions answered that needed attention prior to the April 28th meeting, so that Council can act upon the rezoning request at their April 28th meeting.
Planner Burnham discussed the plans submitted by the developer; 1008 units are shown and it is within a range 670 to 1270 based on the rezoning. Burnham stated this is a reduction from the plan submitted April 2008. The major reduction is from the Rush Creek apartments that have been removed from the plan. Performance standards will exist within this master planned unit development including architecture.
Councilmember Bunting questioned the 670 minimum number of units and asked if this will satisfy the Met Council’s requirements? Burnham stated yes – the commercial area with mixed use residential may provide more units.
Councilmember Bell stated most of the areas are higher density townhomes. Burnham stated the developer and staff tried to achieve a mixture of uses so there is a range of incomes. The larger lots identified with single family occur on the southern portion of the development. The Stieg property has larger lots along with the homes in the woods.
Councilmember Bunting asked the developer if the density ranges are acceptable.
Tom Gump stated that when they were starting the project, they were shooting for higher density. He stated they have been working with staff and they are happy with what is being submitted and thinks they can make it work.
There was a discussion on the amount of green space indicated on the proposed plans.
Attorney Sellegren, developer, stated about 284 of the 680 is wetland/floodplain. He said they are currently working with the watershed on 60 acres where they differ in opinion on the property being wetland/floodplain. Sellegren stated the proposed plan is assuming the developer will lose all debates with the watershed. May later win the discussion with watershed, which will allow more units, however the plan assumes they don’t.
Sellegren further stated the 284 acres identified as wetland/floodplain will end up in some public jurisdiction; Three Rivers Park, City of Rogers, etc.
Councilmember Bunting clarified that if they win their battles with the watershed, will they increase the density?
Tom Gump stated they will more likely go more single family and less townhomes.
Burnham stated the change would require an amendment to the master pud.
Attorney Sellegren stated the current application is simply asking for zoning, which is consistent with the comprehensive plan for densities and land uses - the updated comprehensive plan. Sellegren stated by having the zoning approvals, they will do better talking with the lender and buyers to have some zoning rather than just agriculture.
There was discussion on the amount of property to be sold, the market for selling the property, and the life span of the project. This led to a discussion on the possibility of the developer offering more apartment complexes within the project. Or the possibility of having mixed-use commercial/residential with retail below residential.
Tom Gump stated he feels it is a possibility, however, he can’t promise a product at this time. Gump stated his understanding of the density is that he can move 10% of the density from one area to another.
Burnham clarified that the densities can move 10% within a particularly zoned area – up or down.
Attorney Sellegren clarified the commercial area does allow mixed use residential.
Councilmember Bunting asked how soon before something starts to be built. The time range of 18 to 22 months was discussed.
Councilmember Bunting asked what will happen with the commercial area should this go forward and Brockton Interchange doesn’t get built. Does the PUD lock you into commercial?
Mayor Grimm stated it doesn’t lock the developer - any future council can reconsider the zoning.
Tom Gump mentioned if roadways are not constructed, then less commercial and more high end industrial may happen.
There was continued discussion on densities, value of the property, and size of the lots and structures.
Councilmember Bell asked what the Planning Commission questioned at their meeting.
Attorney Sellegren stated there were not many questions on densities since it matches the comp plan. Sellegren then commented that all the suggestions made by staff in the process has made it a better product.
Burnham concurred that the Planning Commission didn’t have too many questions on densities. Administrator Stahmer stated their questions were more concerned with process.
Councilmember Bell asked if the densities match Hassan’s original comp plan for this area. Burnham stated yes.
Attorney Sellegren stated the approval by the Planning Commission was with three staff recommended conditions. Sellegren stated they are in agreement with the three conditions and also in agreement with master planned unit development agreement with agreed upon changes. At this stage, there is no difference of opinion between the developer and staff.
Sellegren further stated that the developer and staff agree upon issues that need further resolution. The gap risk is on the developer.
Attorney Carson read one sentence from the master PUD agreement out of paragraph 8 that dealt with approval of the master PUD, the developer has evidence of development potential, but does not have approvals for any part of the project. Carson further stated that all negotiations on utility and transportation needs will be with this one developer, the City won’t be negotiation with several different future owners.
Mark Doberstein, from Cambria Farms development in Hassan, addressed the Council and developer with transportation concerns and the amount of traffic a development like this will bring to the Rogers area, where traffic issues are already a concern.
This led to a lengthy discussion on traffic studies that have been conducted (and the money spent on them), the ongoing transportation workshops that are happening to identify priorities, and the joint cooperation with other jurisdictions to help construct and solve the transportation and traffic issues. Also discussed is the amount of roadway easement that will be dedicated to the City with the first phase of the development.
Mr. Doberstein then asked the Council the message they are sending to the current owners of real estate that has already been developed but not sold. He referenced properties along the 101 corridor that remain vacant. He asked if the City will be helping those businesses.
Councilmember Bunting stated the City is not financially responsible for helping them, but the City can try to create an atmosphere where people want to come and shop. Bunting stated he believes the fly-over project will assist by improving the traffic in the area. Once it’s taken care of, more cross traffic from north to south can happen. He stated he is not a big believer in cities giving money to assist in business. The City should be creating the environment to attract the people to Rogers.
There was discussion between Mayor Grimm and Mr. Doberstein regarding TIF property, TIF districts, and the businesses along the 101 corridor that are Hassan businesses not Rogers businesses.
Councilmember Bell then addressed that the City doesn’t have the option of telling the property owner whether or not it is wise to build a product, as long as the product meets standards and code – that’s what the City can regulate.
Mayor Grimm stated it is the City’s responsibility to govern the land use and let the private sector dictate what goes on from there.
Councilmember Bunting stated that traffic is the number one issue in this city. Bunting then referenced the projects scheduled to update the County Road 81 corridor and invited Mr. Doberstein to attend the transportation workshops being held.
Administrator Stahmer wanted to share that the Stone’s Throw properties have now been officially annexed and approved by the State of Minnesota.
Council then discussed their comfort level with the rezoning request and master PUD agreement to be considered at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
Councilmember Bunting stated he would like to see a schedule and what are the events and dates that needed to go forward for the developer, such as the April 30th date. He asked the developer for the goals they need met to stay on a steady path and avoid extra meetings.
There was consensus among the council present for zoning and master PUD agreement approval. No motions are to be acted on at the workshop. The official action will take place at the City Council meeting.
3. Adjourn. There being no further business, motion by Bunting, second by Bell to adjourn. Motion carried 4-0. The meeting was adjourned at 7: 13 p.m.
Assistant City Administrator/Clerk