MINUTES
ROGERS PLANNING COMMISSION
MAY 20, 2014

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting of the Rogers Planning Commission was held on May 20, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. was called to order with Commissioners Martin, Denker, Meadows, Knapp, Swanson, Gorecki, Jullie and Terhaar were present.

Also present were City Planner/Community Dev. Coordinator Cartney, Deputy Clerk Splett and Councilmember Ihli.

Member(s) excused: None.

OPEN FORUM
No one wished to speak.

SET AGENDA
The following was added under "Other Business":
• Moved item 6F to 6A
• Commissioner Denker added a discussion as 8A

CONSENT AGENDA*
A. Approval of the April 15, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Denker seconded a motion to approve the April 15, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes as submitted.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

PUBLIC HEARINGS
F. Public Hearing to Consider the Following Request by Vincent Holdings, LLC:
• Comprehensive Plan Amendment
• Rezoning of Approx. 19+ acres from R-3 and R-4 to Planned Unit Development
• Preliminary Plat Approval of Vincent Woods of Rogers
• Vacation of Easements

City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• The applicant has revised plans
• Applicant has applied for a comp plan amendment to change designation from medium density to high density; rezoning from R-3 and R-4 to Planned Unit Development; preliminary plat and site plan to approve 6 apartment buildings with 24 units per building and one 36 unit building for a total of 156 units
• Removed the building that was in the middle to open the site up and provide a park in the middle
• Access with be from Co. Rd. 81
• Building materials have changed – they will be using what is called a Smart Side panel

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Daryl Schwartz, 12517 Marion Court: Once again I think that you are asking for nothing but trouble with this coming in here and changing the zoning. Basically it shouldn't have anything built on this at all. Changing the zoning to high density we'll have a huge traffic problem, you need to check that out on any afternoon or morning, then you'd think about it adding this on. Evidently the developer has agreed to widen it and put in turn lanes, that is quite a project in itself with the wetlands all around it. Our neighborhood has met numerous times together, and have talked with people on the City Council, and we would still like to see it be the same zoning, the R-3 and have it come in with 132 units. You're still going to have the traffic problem though. I question why the City is presenting this and not the developer. The developer got emotional the last time and everything has seemed to change at the end now. It went to Council and now it came back to Planning again. You know, the trails and bigger park and stuff like that, that is nice but it is still going to bring a lot more traffic and basically a little bit more population in the area. They will be renters, not owners.
Martha Cloutier, 12544 Marion Court: I face Co. Rd. 81/Fletcher Lane, I am on the very corner. The traffic is going to be horrendous . We wait now sometimes to get out for 10 minutes. What are you going to do with an extra 200 cars? The accident rates are going to go up crazy, the noise is going to go up like crazy. We have plenty of noise on Fletcher Lane now with the semis and motorcycles. Fletcher Lane is backed up and no one can pull out. The noise levels are going to be ridiculous, more than they are now. I feel that if this does go through, that the very least that the developer's owe us is privacy, something to block the noise.
Commissioner Denker asked what noise she was referring to.
Martha Cloutier: The noise from all of the traffic.
Commissioner Denker stated that they are not causing all of the traffic.
Martha Cloutier: They are not now, but they are adding to it. So therefore, the people that are pulling out onto Fletcher Lane or from Fletcher Lane onto Co. Rd. 81 are going to back up more than it is now.
So we are going to have more noise. You're going to get those big trucks, you get the motorcycles in the summer, noisy cars from the car show. Also, I did work over at The Preserve at Commerce, and I worked in the office and I know the issues that they have had within the neighborhood from people coming from The Preserve. So, I want to know how that is going to be handled before this goes any further. I definitely believe that they owe us at the very least a sound barrier on Co. Rd. 81 and on Fletcher Lane. It wouldn't be our optimal situation, but I think that if this goes through, at the very least we deserve that. Because you are putting another 200 – 300 cars trying to pull out on Co. Rd. 81.
Mr. Erickson, 12475 Fletcher Lane: Will Fletcher Lane eventually close at the railroad tracks. With 2 accesses, Fletcher Lane and this development now, are you going to combine them and have an access to the east which is the only way to go for an access other than Co. Rd. 81, and that would be through my property. I'm definitely not in favor of having an access of any kind, or bike trails, or road from that access. I'm sure that LeMar Estates are not in favor of that either. We all agreed that 156 units you're saying, I'd rather see 60 units. This would be a better number for access to Co. Rd. 81.
Jay Olson, 12527 Marion Court: I have a question about the Comprehensive Plan. If you raise the density, for all of the property that is not used today, or for this particular site, what happens to the other part, can they build on that?
Commissioner Martin responded that it will go to R-4 only because it is necessary for the PUD to have that density. Once the PUD has gone up, which is a contingency to this agreement that that is the number of units that are allowed on the overall property. That will be over, that's done. There are no future development rights for this property at all.
Jay Olson: Okay. I have some comments that you have already heard about. Fletcher Lane, I don't know what you can do about it. I am a little bit surprised that Hennepin County will allow another access.
Commissioner Martin stated that Hennepin County is the authority.
Planner Cartney clarified that this development is not accessing Fletcher Lane. The access for this development is off of Co. Rd. 81.
Martha Cloutier: What will all these extra cars do to Co. Rd. 81? How are the Police going to handle of this extra traffic?
Commissioner Denker commented that it is a poor assumption that they are all going to be exiting at the same time.
Martha Coultier: But they have nowhere else to exit to except for Co. Rd. 81.
Commissioner Denker stated that they are not going to be dumping 200 cars all at the same time.
Martha Coultier: With FedEx coming in, how many more cars is that going to put on Co. Rd. 81?
Commissioner Denker stated zero cars in this area. They will be on the freeway or going into other areas, not Co. Rd. 81. Co. Rd. 81 is not their primary route in that area. If they wanted to get on Co. Rd. 81 they would do that at the intersection of Brockton Lane and Co. Rd. 81, south of this area and heading east.
Martha Coultier: I still have questions, I don't think that all the employees and all the trucks are going to use that route and I think that it is going to add to Co. Rd. 81. This really needs to be talked about. Also, when the trails are done around the development that they are proposing, like I said I worked over at The Preserve and some of those trails cause a lot of problems. Is there any way to close off our neighborhood from the new neighborhood? Can we get a privacy fence up?
Commissioner Denker asked the developer what his thoughts were on this.
Martha Coultier: I'm very concerned about the traffic on Co. Rd. 81 for the police and for the fire dept. There will need to be stop lights there. Even though that is not being talked about right now, that is going to cause a bigger mess. There will be people backed up along the new road, whatever that is going to be, and then people on Fletcher. I really think that you need to take a hard look at what is going to happen with the traffic. I moved from Maple Grove to Monticello and the traffic just went crazy a couple of years after we were there. Now look at I-94, we have a mess. So a lot of people have to come on Co. Rd. 81 and I think this really needs to be discussed, and make sure that we know what we are doing.
Brian Reiner, Vincent Rogers LLC: I asked the Planner to pull up the screen that shows the development to show you that if you look I have buffering along the entire project. There is only one point where you can see through the trees. I want to keep the buffer to be a good neighbor to the existing neighborhood and the tenants that will live here. From the traffic issue, the only thing that I will say is that in Maple Grove at 8:00 a.m. whether I am on Co. Rd. 30 or Co. Rd. 101 or 94 there are people and cars everywhere, there is a lot of traffic. Traffic is everywhere and you learn to deal with it. We've sat down with the City and have agreed to do a PUD so that we will not have anymore units that the 156 that are proposed.
Judy Mamura, 12549 Marion Court: I would like to address the trail. Would it be possible to have a fence along the area of the trail that runs along the LeMar Estates townhomes? That way when children and people with their pets are walking along here we don't see them. Some type of barrier or separation just around where we are for privacy and for safety.
Commissioner Denker stated he doesn't know. The trail wasn't on their proposal last month.
Judy Mamura: The trail is right along the wetland edge; the agricultural strip and the wetlands. So when I look out my window, I will be able to see animals and people. There isn't a way for the residents of LeMar Estates to access this trail. We would have to walk across the field. I don't know that we would want the access because if we had access to the trail then they would have access to us.
Unknown person spoke on behalf of his mother who lives in LeMar Estates stated that he agrees with Judy, there are a lot of seniors in LeMar Estates, and having that access so close I think that would be a problem. People would be coming over and maybe hanging out in that area and that type of thing. If they could shorten it up some or maybe have it go in a different direction. I think that would probably be a better solution.
Commissioner Martin stated that he thought the developer is trying to utilize the open area for a little recreation. That lot was zoned R-4 before this application, there is approximately 1.46 acres there that could be a high rise, high density building with the rights that he has right now. The amenity of not having that there and having the huge buffer between you and his development and having a recreational trail there for people to enjoy that area is an amenity, not a blight on the project.
Mary Bagwell, LeMar Estates: I am very concerned. Right now we live in a nice quiet area with no crime. We will have these apartments next to us, which could introduce crime to this area, especially with the access from the trail.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

Don Banya, 12557 Marion Court: I looked at the plans and I very much appreciate the respect that the builder is giving the residents of the townhomes. The buffer of the treeline provides some privacy. I really don't want to be looking out my bedroom window and see a chain link fence. I personally applaud the trail path to get out there in my wheelchair and have some freewheeling. I respect the builder and what he is doing here because he could really be a jerk and build right up to the property line. I hope we will be able to natural grasses and prairie grasses.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Time frame for the construction of the trail would be after the first 2 buildings are built and there is some cashflow
• Building materials have come down in quality, yet more durable with a 50 year product warranty
• Proposed PUD did not create the traffic issues and that is not a reason to deny
• Trails provide a good buffer

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendment subject to Metropolitan Council Approval to change from Mid Density Residential to High Density Residential.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the rezoning from R-3 and R-4 to Planned Unit Development for parcel ID#23-120-23-44-0039 and 23-120-23-44-0040.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat of Vincent Woods of Rogers subject to the following conditions:
1. Subject to the conditions, comments of the City Engineer's memo dated May 13, 2014.
2. Subject to the conditions, comments of Hennepin County Public Works dated May 8, 2014.
3. Final Plat applied for within 6 months of preliminary approval
4. All platting fees and other associated fees shall be paid at time of final plat approval.
5. A Development Agreement be entered into upon Final Plat approval.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Site Plan for Vincent Woods of Rogers for 6 apartment buildings with 5 buildings 24 units in each building and one building with 26 units as shown on plans dated received May 8, 2014, subject to the following conditions:
1. A master development plan review must be applied for.
2. A final PUD applied for and a PUD agreement executed.
3. A Development Agreement be entered into upon Final Plat approval.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

A. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Wellstead of Rogers for a Sign Variance Located at 20500 and 20600 S. Diamond Lake Road
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Property is zoned R-3, comprised of 2 parcels with a total of 18 acres
• Located in a residential district but is commercial in nature/use
• Requesting to increase freestanding sig and add additional directional and wall signage
• Applied for a variance because the request does not meet the criteria for a sign standards adjustment
• Directional signage is to assist residents and visitors and also emergency vehicles

There was a discussion that this application should not be a variance with the following comments:
• Operating with a conditional use permit to allow this type of use in a residential district
• The use is allowed under a conditional use permit in the R-3 district
• There is nothing unique about this parcel that makes it necessary to apply for a variance
• You don't use variances to sway uses for these things that are of a commercial nature but are allowed within the R-3 district
• Variance is for something unique about the parcel – there is nothing unique about this parcel. The use is unique, but you don't use a variance for the use
• The code needs to be changed
• Sign standard adjustment criteria in the code states the following: Proposed changes to sign allowances beyond the scope of this section shall be processed according to the variance or planned unit development requirements of the zoning ordinances, as may applicable to the specific property in question.
• They are varying from what is allowed within the sign code for the R-3 district
• It must be unique to the lot or parcel and is not created by the property. There is nothing unique about this. Trying to variance a use – not the property. The code needs to be changed
• Not asking to variance a use – the request is to allow a variance for the sign size. The variance is for the sign ordinance not for the zoning ordinance.
• Variance is only for the lot or the parcel, not for the sign code

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Rick Fox, Crosstown Sign Co.: The sign proposed is actually smaller than the existing monument sign, this is updating the sign. Directional signs are needed to show people where to go. If you went on the site now, you would not have any idea where to go for the different buildings. Currently there are only 2 directional signs at the entrance.

Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Knapp seconded a motion to close the public hearing.
On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Variance not to be used as a tool for the City
• Code allows for necessary signage
• If property was zoned B-2 the signage would be allowed

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend not process the variance but to direct staff to draft an ordinance amendment to the R-3 zoning district to the Conditional Use Permit section to include language regarding signage for the listed uses.

There was discussion on possibly processing the request and make correction to ordinance in future.

On the vote, all members Martin, Denker, Knapp, Swanson, and Gorecki voted AYE, and members Meadows and Jullie voted NAY. Motion carried.

B. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Northridge Fellowship Church for Preliminary and Final Plat Approval of Northridge Fellowship Addition
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Provided background for site plan and variances for setbacks last year
• Entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the City regarding a trail easement and 1 condition was to plat the property

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Debbie Stoddard, church representative: I don't have any comments, but I am here to answer questions if you have any.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

There was no discussion by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Gorecki seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat of Northridge Fellowship Addition subject to the following conditions:
1. Final Plat must be submitted six months after preliminary approval.
2. All comments/requirements of the City Engineers memo dated May 13, 2014 shall be met.
3. A developer's agreement shall be entered into at final plat.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Final Plat of Northridge Fellowship Addition.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

C. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Caribou Coffee Company, Inc. for a Variance to the Sign Ordinance
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Multi-tenant building, zoned B-2 and each unit/suite is allowed 2 sq.ft. per lineal foot of building frontage
• Caribou exceeds what is allowed
• Want to increase signage, variance is required
• Building does not have 2 street frontages, one is not a platted right-of-way

Brief discussion regarding the unplatted right-of-way.

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Emily Heuring, Caribou Representative: Requesting to replace like for like signs on the building on both elevations. We are updating our logo. As part of our variance that has been discussed already, the unnamed road is actually our access into the center. Trying to bring this up to your standards in the community and they are also doing some updates to our space. We plan on being here for a while.
Commissioner Swanson inquired if this is a moving sign.
Emily Heuring: No, it is not.
Commissioner Martin commented that in the past we have sometimes used the measuring of each individual letter to figure out the square footage of the sign. We've used the character space if the signs have no borders or designs.
Commissioner Denker stated that in the past we have used just the individual characters to figure out the square footage of the sign.
Planner Cartney commented that the code states you need to make a rectangle around the smallest area that can be drawn around each of the letters, characters, or figures.
Commissioner Denker stated that we have a much smaller sign given that definition. If we felt that it is smaller, would you be able to provide some individual character sizes for us.
Commissioner Martin commented that I think we have to draw the smallest rectangle around the characters that we could. If we take the new sign vs. the old sign, the new sign appears to be much smaller.
Planner Cartney stated that according to the building permit when the put up their existing signs, the signs are 66.5 sq.ft.
Emily Heuring: Would like to maintain the 2 signs.

Commissioner Knapp moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Visibility from Northdale Blvd.
• Wind damage to the existing signs and branding update for the new signs
• Unplatted right-of-way is not a road, only driveway access from Northdale Blvd.

Commissioner Swanson moved, Commissioner Gorecki seconded the motion to recommend denial of the sign variance request for Caribou Coffee at 13635 Northdale Blvd.

On the vote, all members Denker, Martin, Swanson, Knapp and Gorecki voted AYE and members Jullie and Meadows voted NAY. Motion carried.

D. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Scannell Properties #172 for a Conditional Use Permit for a Fuel Station Located on the FedEx Site
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Final plat was before you in April and the site plan showed a fueling station
• There will be one 20,000 gal. underground diesel fuel tank for FedEx only
• FedEx will be operating 24 hrs. with the busiest times 7-9 a.m. and 4-8 p.m.
• Paint on the canopy will match the building

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

There were no comments registered.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Gorecki seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

There was no discussion by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend to approve the Conditional Use Permit for onsite gas pumps at FedEx as shown on plans received April 25, 2014, subject to the following conditions:

1. The canopy color shall match the building
2. The conditions and concerns addressed in the Fire Chiefs memo dated May 13, 2014 will be met.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

E. Public Hearing to Consider the Following Requests by Synergy Land Company:
• Approval of Preliminary Plat of Edgewater Shores 2nd Addition
• Approval of Planned Unit Development Amendment

City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• PUD amendment for plat of Edgewater Shores
• Property was zoned R-2 as part of the overall approval of the Edgewater plat
• Consistent with approvals for Edgewater plat

There was a brief discussion by the Planning Commission.

Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Brent Hislop, Synergy Land Company: We were here 2 months ago for you to review the concept plan. The discussion revolved around these lots similar in nature as the other lots across the street. Before you tonight is the engineer's version of the proposed plat and graphics demonstrating the lot sizes.
Dale Scherber, 13405 Mardale Drive: I own land to the west of this project. There is quite a bit of traffic that cuts through the private road that we have for Hassan Sand and Gravel. I am wondering when Edgewater Parkway will be finished.
Jeremiah Wontorcik: I feel that this type of development will be far more appealing that having 10 plexes or townhomes. I am in favor of this.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to close the public hearing.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

There was a brief discussion by the Planning Commission.

Commissioner Gorecki moved, Commissioner Martin seconded the motion to recommend to approve the PUD/Master Plan Development for Edgewater to allow for 9 single family homes at Edgewater Shores; subject to the following conditions:
1. Architectural standards be defined
2. HOA be established or development join existing HOA
3. Setbacks apply as shown in table
4. Minimum lot size is 12,203 square feet with lot widths ranging from 70'-92'

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat of Edgewater Shores 2nd Addit6ion for 9 single family homes, subject to the following conditions:
1. All comments concerns of the City Engineers memo dated May 13, 2014 be met.
2. Final Plat be recorded within 6 months of approval.
3. The applicant must enter into a development agreement at time of final plat approval.
4. All platting fees and other associated fees shall be paid at time of final plat approval.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.

The Planning Commission requested planning staff to work with public works staff on a solution for the traffic using the private road and to report back to the Planning Commission.

OTHER BUSINESS
Commissioner Denker submitted his resignation and informed the Planning Commission that the June 17th meeting would be his last meeting as he is moving out of the City.

ADJOURN
Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.

On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.