MINUTESROGERS PLANNING COMMISSIONAPRIL 15, 2014
CALL TO ORDERThe meeting of the Rogers Planning Commission was held on April 15, 2014 at 7:04 p.m. was called to order with Commissioners Martin, Denker, Meadows, Knapp, Swanson, Gorecki and Jullie were present.
Also present were City Planner/Community Dev. Coordinator Cartney, Deputy Clerk Splett and Councilmember Ihli.
Member(s) excused: Terhaar.
OPEN FORUMNo one wished to speak.
SET AGENDAThe Agenda was set as submitted.
CONSENT AGENDA*A. Approval of the March 18, 2014 Planning Commission Workshop Minutes and March 18, 2014 Planning Commission MinutesCommissioner Knapp moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to approve the March 18, 2014 Planning Commission Workshop Minutes and March 18, 2014 Planning Commission Minutes as submitted.
On the vote, all members voted AYE. Motion carried.
PUBLIC HEARINGSA. Public Hearing to Consider the Following Requests by Scannell Properties:• Final Plat Approval of Elkhorn Addition• Site Plan Approval for the Construction of a 304,809 sq.ft. Office Warehouse Building, 2,400 sq.ft. Security Building and a 5,180 sq.ft. Maintenance Building• Conditional Use Permit for Outdoor StorageCity Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:• Plat is for 1 lot and 3 outlots. The 3 outlots are necessary for right-of-way separation• Access will be through the unplatted Henry property to the north. That is conditioned on the Henry property being platted. There is an access easement now for this property.• Property is zoned L-I, Limited Industry• FedEx will be the user for this parcel• Conditional Use Permit is for the outside of storage of trucks, trailers, etc. in designated parking areas• Building materials meet the architectural standards• Landscape plan has been revised as we had requested and they do have a berm on the east side along Brockton Lane. The northeast corner of the berm could be changed to maintain the 5 foot height
Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.There were no comments registered.
Commissioner Knapp moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded a motion to close the public hearing.
The Planning Commission discussed the following:• City Engineer Weiss provided an update on the transportation studies that have been done in this area• Questioned if a Conditional Use Permit application has been received for the fueling station that is shown on the site plan. Tim Elam stated that will be applied for.• Tanks will be underground• Truck traffic will all be using Brockton. They will access Rogers Dr. then head to the east to Brockton• Easement is in place for access
Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Final Plat, Elkhorn Addition subject to the conditions listed in the City Engineer's memo dated April 11, 2014 before City Council approval.
Commissioner Gorecki moved, Commissioner Jullie seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Site Plan for FedEx at 12395 Brockton Lane as shown on plans dated received April 3, 2014, subject to the following conditions:1. All comments and concerns listed in the City Engineers/WSB memo dated April 11, 2014 must be addressed.2. All comments and concerns listed in the Fire Inspectors memo dated March 7, 2014 must be addressed.3. Comments from MNDOT memo dated March 26, 2014 must be addressed.4. Comments from Hennepin County memo dated March 21, 2014 must be addressed.5. A developer's agreement must be entered into and executed before release of final plat.6. That a Conditional Use Permit is applied and approved for the fueling station prior to the release of the final plat.
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Conditional Use Permit for outdoor storage of work vehicles/trailers at 12395 Brockton Lane, subject to the following conditions:1. Parking of the work vehicles/trailers must be in designated parking spaces as depicted on the site plan dated received April 3, 2014.2. Ancillary outdoor storage is not permitted.
There was a brief discussion on where the dollies will be stored.
B. Public Hearing to Consider the Following Requests by Launch Properties:• Preliminary and Final Plat Approval of Launchpark Rogers 1st Addition• Site Plan Approval for the Construction of a 21,090 sq.ft. Warehouse, 898 sq.ft. Truck Bays, and 8,910 sq.ft. Office Space• Conditional Use Permit Request for Building Height Greater than 35 Feet
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:• Revised staff report to show that a Conditional Use Permit is required for height greater than 35 feet instead of a variance• This property is known as the Stegora property• The proposed plat is for 1 lot and 3 outlots• Final plat will come back at a different time when all the changes have been done. The final plat may go to the April 22nd City Council if all the changes/corrections are met• TurbinePros is currently located on James Rd. and has been there for years• The request for higher ceilings is to allow them to keep all equipment inside so that there will not be any outside storage
There was a brief discussion about the parking area not showing the required landscaping every 12 spaces. There is no screening along TH101, but the property does not abut TH101 and does have natural screening.
Chairman Denker opened the meeting for public comment.
The following comments were registered:Robin Sahr, 14695 Raspberry Dr.: It would be great to have the Engineer speak on this before we address our questions. Would like some specifics on Outlots A and B. What happens with Outlot A, should it be replatted. I have talked with the City Planner on this. I know tonight you are primarily dealing with Lot 1, Block 1 and not the outlots. Our concerns are going to be with noise impact and lighting, berming and screening. A lot of work was put in years ago to develop an ordinance to make sure that the transition space for the residential properties would be protected.Commissioner Martin stated that the Hassan ordinances were merged with the Rogers ordinances. The property stayed zoned B-3. That will continue to have the berm and things all the way down that line just like when it was Hassan.Robin Sahr: I did see a preliminary concept of those lots being developed and it appeared that there is a 50 foot setback.Commissioner Martin responded that it is a 50 foot setback with the berm and you can't see 30% of the building I believe.Robin Sahr: I believe it is to be a 75 foot berm required.Commissioner Martin stated that the residential area was platted prior to 1997 with the 50 foot buffer.City Eng. Weiss responded that the Outlot will be platted when it is developed in the future. You will have another opportunity to discuss when the outlot is platted.Robin Sahr: So, by replatting these outlots, you mentioned that the carryover of the screening and berming of those lots for land platted prior to 1997.City Planner Cartney and the Planning Commission clarified that the residential subdivision was already established in 1997 so the berming and screening must happen.Robin Sahr: I just picked up the packet so I don't know all of the details, but from a noise prospective will all of that be addressed with this company coming in?Commissioner Martin stated that they have to meet the same standards as everyone else.Commissioner Denker stated that we have not received any complaints regarding noise from their current neighbors. They aren't going to be doing anything different than they do now.Robin Sahr: I need to familiarize myself a little bit more with the new Rogers ordinances relating to that. I at least want to make some of our concerns known for the record.Commissioner Denker stated that everyone will be noticed again when and if the outlots are developed.Mark Nordlund, NR Holdings, LLC, 5216 Oaklawn Ave., Edina, MN: We are the developer of the property. Any development in the future would require us to come back before the Planning Commission, so property owners would be notified and have the opportunity to come back and voice your concerns. When we do any platting of Outlot A, we will host a meeting night with the neighbors so you can ask more detailed questions of the project and we can address your concerns. We want to be good friendly neighbors. TurbinePros is a company that repairs power turbines all over the North America, Canada and also throughout the United States. This is their headquarters facility, the office area is approximately 8500 sq.ft. In their warehouse what they have are "tool kits" – large shipping containers that contain the tools that the use on the job and in the field as the repair the turbines. They determine how many of these kits that the need for a job and send them along with 100 employees that will be working there for 6 months. When they are finished, they are shipped back to the warehouse. This is not a very noisy operation. They have a couple of trucks a week, if they are shipping out for a job it may be 3 trucks in a day but other days they may not have any trucks. It's a pretty quiet operation. The height of the building allows for the equipment to be stacked within the facility so there is no outside storage. They are not applying for a conditional use permit for outside storage.Lynn Sahr, 14695 Raspberry Dr.: I was wondering, when you were talking about the trucks coming in, do they have regular business hours? Or do they come at early morning hours or nights or weekends?Mark Nordlund: They have typical business hours.Lynn Sahr: There is a huge stand of trees right now, and I notice in looking at your plans. There is a pond shown between the two buildings, are you going to leave the pond or are you taking that out.Commissioner Denker stated that we are only dealing with the single lot on the east side there are no plans right now for the outlot. Nothing is being discussed or proposed for that area.Mark Nordlund: That is shown as a concept right now, when there is a definite plan it will be brought forward.City Eng. Weiss: Just a few things that we are looking for under the platting piece of this. The vacation of 147th Ave. in the future. With the current construction project starting right now, they will be using Northdale as a bypass when they shut down CR 144. When the interchange is completed, that right in/right out will be closed. There will be a new signal system at Northdale and CR144 and also at James Rd. and CR144.Commissioner Martin asked about the drainage projects in that area, around 145th.City Eng. Weiss: Putting ponding for the project just east of TurbinePros. Final plat items have been addressed.
Commissioner Knapp moved, Commissioner Martin seconded a motion to close the public hearing.
The Planning Commission discussed the following:• Are we changing the preliminary plat to final plat• No permit to proceed until all requirements are met• Final plat will go to the City Council• No revised site plan has been submitted to the Planning Commission• Site plan is fine – Planning Commission will be review the final plat
Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Martin seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat of Launchpark Rogers 1st Addition subject to the following conditions:1. All comments and concerns of the City Engineer/WSB memo dated April 10, 2014 be addressed.2. All comments of the Fire Inspectors memo dated April 4, 2014 be addressed.3. Final Plat must be submitted six months after preliminary approval.4. All platting fees and other associated fees shall be paid at time of final plat approval.5. A development agreement shall be entered into at time of final plat approval.
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Knapp seconded the motion to recommend approval of the a Conditional Use Permit for TurbinePros at Lot 1, Block 1, Launch Park for the building height of 37 feet, subject to the following conditions:1. The Conditional Use Permit applies to the building as shown on plans dated received March 21, 2014.
Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the Site Plan for TurbinePros as shown on the site plan dated received March 21, 2014, subject to the following conditions:1. All comments and concerns of the City Engineer/WSB memo dated April 10, 2014 be addressed.2. All comments and concerns of the Fire Inspectors memo dated April 4, 2014 be addressed.3. No building permits shall be issued until the final plat has been approved and recorded.
C. 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• Preliminary Plat Approval of Vincent Woods of Rogers• Site Plan Approval for the Construction of 8 Apartment Buildings with 24 Units Each• Vacation of EasementsCity Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:• Previously platted as Highpoint Church Addition• Concept plan was before you on Jan. 14th of this year• Planner Cartney review the background/history of the property• Requesting a comp plan amendment for high density• Proposing 8 buildings with 24 units per building for a total of 192 units• Access will be from Co. Rd. 81
There was a brief discussion about density by the Planning Commission.
The following comments were registered:Roger Johnson, 12536 Marion Court: I live in LeMar Estates, and am a representative of the homeowners association. This area that we are talking about will be our neighbor. I am here to voice the townhome association's opposition to changing the comprehensive plan and increasing the density of this property. By keeping the density at where it is at right now, that would eliminate the rezoning and also the approval of the site plan. At previous meetings we have already voiced our concerns regarding parking and the traffic on CR81. We know we have seen some numbers that have been shared about the traffic on CR81 and I am here to say that the numbers don't always give a clear picture of the situation. The traffic on 81 is coming from both directions at 55 mph and our residents have a hard time now and then you want to add more traffic with this proposed development. We also have concerns on our property values with this proposed development. We think it's a good thing to just stay with the comprehensive plan as it is now. We are not against development, we are not against progress we are against development this property by changing the comprehensive plan. We are here to encourage you to reject this proposed development and ask the developer to come back with a different proposal that meets the existing requirements.An email provided by Mr. Roger Johnson is entered into the record of the public hearing.Daryl Schwartz, 12517 Marion Court: I see nothing positive about this development. I am not as diplomatic as Mr. Johnson, I have spoken with a lot of the people about this and they are more up about it than what has been shown. People are not for this. It is going to cost nothing but services to the City of Rogers. I don't see anything positive about it. I wasn't here for the Council meeting on this but evidently the Police Chief said that you could check people out that would move into these apartments – that's probably not going to happen. You're going to have more crime, you're going to have a ton more traffic and I would guess that the majority of you don't live over in this area to deal with that traffic. It is terrible. It will be nothing but services. I find it very hard that Hennepin County would accept the additional traffic. Our development has been there 15 years now, and we still don't have a right turn lane to go south on Fletcher from CR 81. To add that much more traffic to that area seems pretty tough, and how are you going to widen CR 81 when it is all wetlands around it? How much dirt are they going to push into these wetlands? The drawing I seen online, they are going to cover up a little bit of it but I guaranty they are going to be pushing around a lot more of it. How is it going to effect the people that live on the other side of the tracks?City Eng. Weiss: Hennepin County has been contacted on this project and they have required that a right turn lane for eastbound/southbound CR81 in that area as well as a left turn lane for westbound CR 81 to access the site, so they will be completing that as part of this project. In addition to that, they will have a left and right turn lane going out of the development to access 81. There are impacts with accessing 81 and the speeds in that area, I would doubt that Hennepin County is going to, other than requiring those safety improvements that they are going to restrict access to this property for development purposes. We will do what is necessary to address the engineering and traffic issues in that area. At some point in time this will be a 4 lane road.Tom Hogan, 12548 Marion Court: I've been driving school bus in Rogers for the last 13 years and I have seen the load on the schools. I'm wondering in this situation what kind of load this will cause on Rogers Elementary and is there places for kids to play with that type of high density?Wally Burch, 12608 Scharber St.: I don't live right next door, but I live on the other side. I don't have anything prepared, and I see there are all kinds of ordinances and things that I have never thought about. I speak from experience, I grew up in Brooklyn Park many years ago and it seems like the same kind of think happened. All of a sudden they wanted to move in high density apartments and they moved in a set here and a few years later a set there. Since that time, I think that Brooklyn Park has had a lot of trouble. Since then they have actually had to try to tear down some of these apartments and put in more modern, smaller, lower unit apartments. I am kind of scared of the same thing happening here. Just hoping that somebody can use my concerns.Don Banyon: My wife and I live in LeMar Estates. Our bedroom window overlooks the proposed property and I'm very blessed to be living in Rogers, it is convenient to everything. Decades ago I lived in subsidized housing and to be honest with you it attracts a seedy type of people. That is just my opinion. What I am getting at is that the majority of these people who are backed by government assistance don't have a legitimate disability. I do have a legitimate disability.Commissioner Denker commented that there hasn't been anything that says this is low subsidy housing of any sort.Don Banyon: There may be a percentage of Section 8 housing.Planner Cartney informed them that this project is all market rate, there is no Section 8 housing involved.Don Banyon: I think that the majority of us are all concerned with the over population of this area. The potential crime, the noise, the schools – we just really hope that you will not approve this.Commissioner Meadows asked the City Planner to explain the Met Council's density requirements and expand on the City's perspective.City Planner Cartney explained the Met Council has averages that they want our average is 3 units per acre. We don't have that in Rogers, our average is about 1 ½ units per acre. We are not meeting the Met Council standards and we are not meeting our Comp Plan goals with that. So when we have the opportunity to try to meet those goals, that is when we would try to do that. We saw this as an opportunity, it was already zoned R-3 and R-4 to begin with, it had the medium density in this pocket and this was an opportunity to increase the density and try to even it out in the City.Commission Martin stated that you have to remember that we cannot make it up all in one bite. All of the mixed use that we have re-designated as L-I that has reduced the density. This isn't something has happened to the City that we are trying to correct. The city has done this to itself. A lot of the folks were at the Comprehensive Plan meetings and check to see if we are following through with the plans for their neighborhoods. This site plan is too crowded, no open space, no parks, its just parking and sleeping. In my opinion this brings nothing to the City – no amenities or benefits. Increasing the density to make up for some of the City's mistakes at the expense of these folks is probably not the right thing to do. I think that this could be developed rather nicely as R-3 with townhomes that would fit in this area and help our density.3Commissioner Gorecki asked if not meeting the Met Council density requirements would have a negative impact for the City.City Planner Cartney stated that it is just not on this parcel. We have goals and objectives that we need to meet for funding and other opportunities.Commissioner Martin stated that we are meeting our Comprehensive Plan here by staying mid-density.City Engineer Weiss stated that we apply for federal funding for transportation improvements and they do look to see if you are meeting the goals that are set by the Met Council. Rogers is one of the few cities that does not have sanitary sewer service through Met Council. We have our own wastewater treatment plant and are facing a huge cost if Met Council doesn't come out here and build a new treatment plant as they have proposed. One other item is that there isn't a lot of pedestrian access in this area for the existing residents, let alone for this proposed site also. We have had some discussions on how we could get a trail from here to access downtown Rogers.Commissioner Martin stated at mid-density at the net they will bring this is possibly 9 units per acre. That's three times what the Met Council required for this area. The City has been making decisions all along and it can't come down to this is where we are making a decision on density for Met Council.Commissioner Denker stated that the goal here is not to meet it all in one chunk.Commissioner Martin stated the medium density follows our Comp Plan future use for this site. I think that the developer could come back with a townhouse layout of some type that meets the mid-density, get some credit for what is R-4 now. I don't think that this was planned as R-4 because it's a great density site. I think that there is so much wetland in there that he was offered a little more density so that he would get a little more dollar for a piece of property that is very hard to deal with. So I think if you combine the two problems or things together and you get down to like 132 units of mid-density, get some credit for the R-4 areas, cleared it out, made it family friendly with a courtyard and things like that he might have something to work with. But I would move to deny the proposal tonight.Tom Hogan, 12548 Marion Court: A number of years ago, there was question of the water level there on that property. I was on the board and had a few discussions with the owners and the builder. There were a number of units that we had to remove the floor heat and put in ceiling heat because of the high water table and moisture. You talked about underground parking, I don't understand that one.Rob Olson, Westwood Professional Services: With regards to the density its either medium density or high density, so we will be using either 5-10 or 10-20. We have been working with staff and that is why this plan that was presented. This type of development is geared more for R4, the apartment complex. With regards to the traffic, we have been working with Hennepin County and the plan that is before you was been negotiated with them for the temporary access, until it gets approved. In regards to the crime, we have talked with the Police Chief. These apartments will be market rate, you must qualify to live in them. There is no Section 8 or subsidized housing at all. Crime-free apartments require a background check before you move in and if something happens while you are living there, we will give a 48 hour eviction notice without having to go through the courts. In regards to the wetlands and filling we have city engineers and will be held to the same standards as everyone else.For children we are looking to work amenities and park on the eastern portion of the site. We want to maintain the buffer between the proposed development and the existing townhome development. With regards to the water level, the garage will be at grade. If there are other drainage concerns we can easily address them.Patricia Ingram, 12533 Marion Court: Things to address are our quota in regards to the metro planning. Is the Preserve in Rogers at all? They are pretty heavily populated so maybe we are close to being near our quota.City Planner Cartney explained that we are not close to our required density for Met Council.Patricia Ingram: So there could be more developments. What I am saying is that I appreciate that they want to invest and I appreciate that there would be parks, walking trails, and pretty homes. You are here to make money, is what you are doing. We are living here, trying to make it work. When you come in to make your money which you have every right to do, we have to take into account our livelihood, most of us are retired, we don't have a great deal of income and you are going to bring in an establishment which is going to house 500-1000 people. If there is going to be a situation where they are going to bring in a great number of people, I really hope that we as the City of Rogers can be strong with regard to maybe this isn't a community for apartments, maybe townhomes are the way for us. Maybe there are other places where this density fits better. This is a beautiful townhome establishment in beautiful Rogers. Rogers is such a great place to live. I appreciate all the hard work on the developer's side, as well as all the hard word that the City is doing. Could the City please consider it to be not a good fit here.Dan Ingram, 12533 Marion Court: Listening to this, I'm kind of on the tail end of the details. What I'm hearing I am very concerned about. Primarily, it doesn't sound to me that the City of Rogers is in control of what happens as far as the density on this property. Met Council, they drive the money. The City of Rogers will gain from following the rules of the Met Council.Commissioner Martin stated that the density of the Met Council is not the focus of this application.Dan Ingram: One piece of property, that is 19 acres. There is a plan in place. My understanding is that this is deemed R-3 which is medium density.City Planner Cartney clarified that R-3 and R-4 is the zoning. R-3 is mid-density and R-4 is multi-family. The Comprehensive Plan designates the density of the property. The entire property is designated medium density which is 5-10 units per acre.Dan Ingram: There is a plan in place to develop this property at a medium density. That is at the R-3 level, not the R-4 level. So they can put apartments on this property? It is very confusing coming from the outside in. What I don't understand is that there was a plan and they are asking for the plan to be changed so they can increase their density – more units per acre. That does not make sense for this piece of property. We've walked on that property we've seen that property and it doesn't make sense to go to a multi-family zoning with a single access onto a two lane road. I don't know if any of you have been at that intersection anywhere from 6 – 8 a.m. Then when there is an incident out on the freeway then what happens. Doesn't make sense to put a large amount of added bodies into this area.Commissioner Denker stated that the zoning does allow for that. We all understand your concern.Dan Ingram: Met Council can drive the City to do it their way to get money.Commissioner Martin stated that we have to get over the Met Council on this parcel, it has nothing to do with it. Density problem has been going on for 10 years and will go on for another 10 years. They City and the Council have made decisions to reduce density over and over in the past 5-10 years. The decision made will be for what fits in here, what is allowed in here and what can we make work that will be the best use of this property.
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded a motion to close the public hearing.
The Planning Commission discussed the following:• Awkward position with the applicant• Comprehensive Plan calls for this to be developed as mid-density• Applicant to come up with a better design with a lower density
Commissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend denial of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Amendment subject to Metropolitan Council Approval to change from Mid Density Residential to High Density Residential.
Discussion regarding how the applicant feels about all of this and would they be willing to go back to the drawing board.
Brian Reiner, applicant commented on the following:• Purchased to originally put townhomes on along with looking at the opportunity to put apartments on it. Property is zoned R-3 and R-4• Met with City staff multiple times and were asked to consider expanding the density• I have spent a lot of money, time and effort to be able to do some of the things staff requested• I was before you in Jan. and Feb. and went through the same discussion to be able to add to the density• There is a playground on the site, met with staff to look at putting walking trails in• The land closest to the LeMar Estates is zoned R-4 which would allow me more density if that were to work out. I left the land on the other side of the trees to allow for a buffer. I'm not looking to build on that site, but I could if I wanted to• I was led to believe from prior planning and zoning and prior City Council to go down this road and I've spent a lot of money• By doing the apartments instead of the townhomes, I have fewer buildings and fewer roads to put in• I purposely changed to high density to put more buildings and in accommodating the City's needs for the Met Council. I spoke with the City Council at the meeting and we brought it down to 192 units.• Market rate rental property
Planning Commission continued discussion regarding:• Consistency with the Comprehensive Plan• Applicant can build right up to the existing townhomes should he so choose• Concerned with how we want this area to be in the future• Comprehensive Plan should be reviewed and revised from time to time not by application
On the vote, members Martin, Swanson, and Jullie voted AYE and members Denker, Gorecki, Meadows, and Knapp voted NAY. Motion failed.
Commissioner Denker moved, Commissioner Gorecki 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 members Denker, Gorecki, Meadows and Knapp voted AYE and members Martin, Swanson and Jullie voted NAY. Motion failed.
Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Gorecki seconded the motion to recommend approval of the rezoning from R-3 to R-4 for parcel ID#23-120-23-44-0039.
On the vote, members Meadows, Denker, Gorecki and Knapp voted AYE and members Swanson, Martin and Jullie voted NAY. Motion carried.
Due to not receiving a 4/5ths vote to approve the Comprehensive Plan amendment the motion has failed and will be moved onto the City Council next Tuesday and they will make the final decision.
ADJOURNCommissioner Martin moved, Commissioner Knapp seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 p.m.