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05/19/15 Planning Commission Minutes

MINUTES
ROGERS PLANNING COMMISSION
MAY 19, 2015

CALL TO ORDER
The meeting of the Rogers Planning Commission was held on May 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. was called to order with Commissioners Meadows, Knapp, Swanson, Jullie, Neis, Nei, Kraemer and Silverstein present.

Also present were City Planner/Community Dev. Coordinator Cartney, Deputy Clerk Splett, Councilmember Gorecki and Public Works Supt. John Seifert.

Member(s) excused: Terhaar

SET AGENDA
The Agenda was set as submitted.

Commissioner Silverstein moved, Commissioner Kraemer seconded the motion to approve the agenda as submitted.

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

CONSENT AGENDA*
A. Approval of the April 21, 2015 Planning Commission Minutes
Commissioner Jullie moved, Commissioner Knapp seconded a motion to approve the April 21, 2015 Planning Commission Minutes as submitted.

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

PUBLIC HEARINGS
A. (cont.) Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Jeffrey Hampton for a Variance from Lot Frontage Requirements in the RE-2 District, located at 15175 North Point Drive
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• This item was continued from the last Planning Commission meeting to enable the applicant to provide more information
• We will re-open the public hearing tonight because there were some residents at the last meeting that did not get a chance to speak
• Distributed to the Planning Commission were three additional emails received that are opposed to this variance
• The newly created lot will have 154 feet of road frontage and the existing lot will have 66 feet of road frontage
• There are four criteria that are to be met to grant a variance and there are two criteria that are not met – item #2 and item #3
• Staff is recommending denial based on the findings that there is reasonable use of the property as it is today

Chairman Meadows opened the meeting for public comment.

The following comments were registered:
Jeff Hampton, 15175 North Point Dr.: This is a unique situation, the house is set way far back on the lot. I proved at the last meeting that there is plenty of room for the land division. The main questions from the last meeting were was is the driveway going to be and where will the house be located. In regards to the findings to consider for a variance, I meet all of the requirements. I won’t go into details on item one. I believe that there is confusion with the definition of #2 – I propose to use the property in a reasonable manor. To say this is for an economic gain is incorrect. I proved that at the last meeting. #3 – The unique characteristics of this site is that the house is setback far on the lot. The setback was created by the developer, not by me. #4 – This will not alter the character of this development. There was one neighbor that was concerned on their view. The neighbor has enjoyed the view of my yard for the last 15 years, this is not a basis for denial. I could put a shed up in that location and that would obstruct their view also. In summary I meet all of the requirements with some issues with #2 and #3. This denial is not based on legal standards. I hope I can get approval of this variance so that I can move forward with the survey and this project.
Ted Sylvester, 15135 North Point Dr.: I have lived in this neighborhood for 15 years and have enjoyed the quality of life here for me and my family. When I was notified that the City was considering the request to subdivide the lot next door to me I kept asking the question why now? I’m not prepared to speak on the legalities of this, but I think I can speak for a moment on what is right and wrong. I think back to the guy that was the original developer and I think that when he plotted it out he would have liked more than 6 homes but from everything that I know, he was told no, that he could only put 6 lots. When we purchased our lot we were told that there would only be 6 lots in this development. That was our main reason for purchasing this lot. The previous owner of Mr. Hampton’s property was also told no when he asked if he could divide the lot. All of the residents are aware of this. To divide the property would not be in compliance with the city code. We have all built and landscaped our properties the way we wanted. Again I ask, why now?

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

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

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• City code can be interpreted differently
• Granting the variance will change the character of the area
• Other property owners have developed and landscaped their yards

Commissioner Swanson moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend denial of this variance due to the fact that there is reasonable use of the land without the variance and there is no unique characteristic causing the variance. A single family home is established on the lot without any variances.

On the vote, members Meadows, Knapp, Swanson, Jullie, Neis, Nei and Kraemer voted AYE and member Silverstein voted NAY. Motion carried.

B. Public Hearing to Consider a Request by Liberty Property Limited Partnership for Preliminary and Final Plat Approval of French Lake Industrial Center (continued to June 16, 2015 meeting)
City Planner Cartney commented on the following:
• Staff discussed and reviewed the application and determined that there are too many unresolved issues for this project to move forward at this time
• Open the public hearing and allow anyone who is here to speak and then continue the public hearing to the June 16th Planning Commission meeting.

There was a brief discussion by the Planning Commission.

Chairman Meadows opened the meeting for public comment.

Commissioner Kraemer moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded a motion to continue the public hearing to the June 16, 2015 Planning Commission meeting.

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

C. Public Hearing to Consider the Following:
• Amending the Zoning Code to allow Tattoo/Body Art business as a permitted use within the B-3 and L-I districts.
• Amending the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Rogers, Section 125-1, Relating to Zoning Definitions
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Our city code does not address tattoo and/or body art businesses
• Council adopted an Ordinance in March placing a moratorium on tattoo/body art business to allow staff to research the use and where would a good location within the City be for this
• Planning Commission discussed at their March 30th work session and suggested that this be a permitted use in the B-3 and L-I districts
• Leave the regulation of the business to the MN Department of Health and just provide definitions and locations in the zoning code

Chairman Meadows opened the meeting for public comment.

There were no comments registered.

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

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

Commissioner Neis moved, Commissioner Jullie seconded the motion to recommend approval of an ordinance Amending the Zoning Code to Allow Tattoo/Body Art Business as a Permitted Use Within the B-3 and L-I Districts.

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

Commissioner Neis moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of an ordinance Amending the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Rogers, Section 125-1, Relating to Zoning Definitions to Add Tattoo/Body Art.

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

NEW BUSINESS
A. Request by Mary Queen of Peace for Site Plan Approval of Parking Lot, Located at 21304 Church Ave.
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Church is proposing to add a parking lot on the north side of the existing church creating an access onto Church Ave. and John Deere Lane
• The proposed parking lot is on 1.89 acre along John Deere Lane
• The expansion includes 70 parking stalls
• The church is a permitted use within the R-2, Single Family Residential District
• There will be a 6 ft. privacy fence along the shared property line of the drive aisle
• Proposed parking lot meets setbacks and width requirements
• Land issues need to be worked out and will be a condition of the site plan approval
• Staff is recommending approval

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Property issues are covered in the second condition
• George Gmach, church representative was available to answer any questions that the Planning Commission may have
• Commissioner Neis inquired if the driveway off of Church Ave. would remain
• George Gmach responded that the curb cut on Church Ave. would be replaced. The 2nd driveway is a right-in and right-out only
• City Engineer has reviewed and commented

Commissioner Jullie moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend approval of the site plan for Mary Queen of Peace dated received April 6, 2015 subject to the following conditions:
1. All comments/concerns of the City Engineer’s memo dated May 11, 2015 shall be met.
2. The access easement along John Deere Lane shall be secured before any work begins.
3. A 10-12 foot trail easement along CSAH 81 shall be dedicated before any work begins.
4. A 6-foot tall privacy fence shall be installed along the residential property line as shown on the plans.

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

B. Request by Grady Kinghorn for the Following Items:
• Final Plat Approval of Kinghorn Industrial Park 3rd Addition
• Site Plan Approval for the Construction of 275,000 sq.ft. Building
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Property is located north of the Clam building – Outlot A, Kinghorn Industrial Park
• Proposed to plat the outlot into a lot and develop a 275,000 sq.ft. distribution center as part of Phase I and adding a 25,000 sq.ft. office building as part of Phase II
• Plat meets the minimum requirements for the L-I zoning district as proposed
• Site plan is proposed in 2 phases – 1st is the distribution center and the 2nd phase will be the office building
• Tonight is site plan approval for Phase I only and Phase II is shown as a concept for the future and will have its own site plan review
• Parking has met the requirements for a distribution center
• Materials list has not yet been submitted, but they will be subject to architectural standards
• Access to this site is from the frontage road on the south
• Staff recommends approval of the final plat and site plan approval for Phase I

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• City Engineer has reviewed and commented
• This approval is for Phase I only

Commissioner Jullie moved, Commissioner Meadows seconded the motion to recommend approval of the final plat for Kinghorn Industrial Park 3rd Addition.

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

Commissioner Jullie moved, Commissioner Kraemer seconded the motion to recommend approval of the site plan for Phase I a 275,000 square foot distribution/warehouse building subject to the following conditions:
1. Architectural plans shall be submitted that meet standards outlined in section 125-347 of the Rogers City Code.
2. Enter into or provide proof of access easement with Clam Corporation before building permit is issued.
3. A Developer’s Agreement shall be entered into and executed before the plat is recorded or any building permits are issued.
4. This approval only pertains to Phase I.

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

C. Request by Trident Development, LLC for Amended Site Plan Approval of Vincent Woods Apartment Housing Development
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Property was rezoned from R-3/R-4 to Planned Unit Development in 2014
• Comprehensive Land Use designation was changed from medium density to high density
• Preliminary plat was approved combining 2 lots into 1 – Vincent Woods of Rogers
• The final plat has not been approved and the applicant has requested an extension
• Site plat approval for 6 apartment buildings with 26 units in each building was approved in September, 2014
• If the revised site plan is approved, a new PUD agreement will be required
• Revised site plan includes 2 buildings with 89 units in each building – the plat stays in effect
• Proposed to be a phased development. Proposing to build one building with 89 units as Phase I and at a later date they will do the second building as Phase II
• The only deviation that there is in this request is that of the R-4 height requirement. The proposed building is 40 feet and the height requirement of the R-4 district is 35 feet
• Our parking ordinance requires one surface parking space and one covered parking space
• Building materials are above and exceed previously proposal materials
• Developer is proposing amenities for the residents
• Staff is recommending approval of the site plan as presented
• The applicant is here and wanted to speak on this item and will answer any questions that you may have

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Mr. Roger Fink, Trident Development, LLC along with Rob Olson, Civil Engineer reviewed with the Planning Commission the revised site plan.
• Concerns with the original plat had 216 units, then agreed and approved at 156 units, and now they want to go back up to 178 units
• Applicant prefers the 178 units to make the numbers works to be able to provide the upgraded plan
• Previous site plan that was approved did not have underground parking.
• Density concerns
• Are the additional 22 units a deal breaker
• Increased traffic concerns for Co. Rd. 81
• Consensus of the Planning Commission was this is a much better design and product
• There were residents from the Lemar Estates neighborhood that wanted to be heard and the consensus of the Planning Commission was to let them speak
• Concerns of the Lemar Estates neighbors:
• Was approved at 156 units and now come in and want to increase that number to 178
• Traffic issues for Co. Rd. 81
• Soil corrections for this area to have the underground parking
• Traffic safety and increase in crime
• All economics for the developer – not the residents
• How do you make swamp land stable for construction
• This plan is preferred over the previously one

Commissioner Meadows moved, Commissioner Silverstein seconded the motion to recommend approval of the site plan dated received April 8, 2015 for a two phase development of two apartment buildings containing 89 units each, subject to the following conditions:
1. Final Plat approval is required before development can begin.
2. A Development agreement must be entered into and executed before development can begin.
3. A Planned Unit Development agreement must be entered into and executed before development can begin.
4. All comments/concerns of the City Engineer memo dated May 11, 2015 must be met.

On the vote, members Knapp, Jullie, Neis, Nei, Kraemer and Silverstein voted AYE and member Swanson voted NAY. Motion carried.

D. Request by The Excelsior Group for the following items:
• Preliminary Plat Rogers Plastic Center 4th Addition
• Site Plan approval for parking lot expansion
• Conditional Use Permit for outdoor storage
City Planner Cartney provided the background information commenting on the following:
• Application is requesting preliminary plat, site plan to expand the parking lot and conditional use permit for outdoor storage
• Site is currently 4 lots and 2 small outlots. The request is to create 1 large lot
• As plat is proposed this will correct property line discrepancies and remove the outlots
• Proposing to expand the parking area to the northwest of the existing building
• Expansion is intended for outdoor storage which requires approval by a conditional use permit
• Conditional Use Permit is for roofing materials to be stored outside by their tenant
• Fencing for screening of the outdoor storage is being recommended to be a 8 ft tall wood privacy fence instead of a chain link fence with slats
• There are 3 motions for this request

Chairman Meadows invited the applicant to speak.

Brent Masica, representing the applicant commented on the following:
• Large vacancy that has been around for a long time
• The ability to get outdoor storage brings more prospects to that site
• Trying to attract a national roofing company that requires outdoor storage for their materials
• Could the Conditional Use Permit be just for outdoor storage – not for a specific use? I would be open to discussion on this
• Does the fence have to be wood – could it be wood on the I-94 sides and chain link on the other sides? To do an all wood fence would be very expensive. Wood rots and there would be maintenance involved.

The Planning Commission discussed the following:
• Planner Cartney responded that the Conditional Use Permit must be for a specific use.
• The entire fence must be wood, no chain link.
• Roofing materials would be stacked on the ground

Commissioner Jullie moved, Commissioner Swanson seconded the motion to recommend preliminary plat approval of Rogers Plastic Center 4th Addition subject to the following conditions:
1. Final plat must be applied for within 6 months after approval.
2. A developer agreement must be entered into and executed before recording the plat.
3. All comments/concerns of the City Engineers memo dated May 11, 2015 shall be met.

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

Commissioner Kraemer moved, Commissioner Neis seconded the motion to recommend approval of the site plan to expand the parking lot at 21925 Industrial Blvd as shown on plans received April 24, 2015 subject to the following conditions:
1. All comments/concerns of the City Engineers memo dated May 11, 2015 shall be met.
2. Final Plat must be recorded before any work can begin.
3. The 8-foot tall fence for screening shall be a wood privacy fence.
4. The applicant shall meet with the Fire Department regarding access prior to expansion of the parking lot.

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

Commissioner Swanson moved, Commissioner Kraemer seconded the motion to recommend approval a Conditional Use Permit to allow outdoor storage for Rogers Plastic Center as shown on site plan dated received April 24, 2015, subject to the following conditions:
1. No outdoor storage may take place until the final plat is recorded.
2. The outdoor storage is limited to roofing materials and must be stored on a hard surface in an orderly fashion.
3. Outdoor storage shall not exceed 8-feet in height

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

ADJOURN
Commissioner Neis moved, Commissioner Knapp seconded a motion to adjourn the meeting at 8:37 p.m.

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

Rogers Ranked 6 for "Best Minneapolis Suburbs to Live In

The City of Rogers was just named #6 overall on the list of “Best Minneapolis Suburbs to Live In” by Movoto.com. Scoring criteria included “Amenities per capita, standard of living (cost of living, median home value, median rent, median household income, and high school graduation rate), total crimes per 100k, unemployment rate and average commute time.” Yet another acknowledgement for our great community…congratulations Rogers!  For details visit movoto.com.

 

City of Rogers and State Representative Joyce Peppin Pursue Fiscal Disparities Legislation

The City of Rogers would like to thank State Representative/Majority Leader Joyce Peppin for her strong support of the City's efforts to seek relief from the tax/revenue impacts of the State Fiscal Disparities Program. Specifically, Representative Peppin has again advanced a bill that, if passed into law, would cap tax capacity contributions to the Fiscal Disparities for cities like Rogers which are not part of the Metropolitan Council regional wastewater system.

The Metropolitan Area Fiscal Disparities Program is a mandatory program enacted by the State Legislature in an attempt to address fiscal concerns within the seven‐county Metro area and to equalize tax base by requiring that all communities in the area contribute 40 percent of the growth in their commercial/industrial tax base after 1971 to a regional pool. The tax base is then redistributed to cities based upon a State formula. Rogers is annually one of the largest, if not the largest net contributors/net losers to the program in terms of percentage of tax base lost. Rogers loses between 15-20% of its tax base to the program on an annual basis, resulting in a commensurate loss of more than $1 million dollars in annual revenue/tax relief. Notably, Rogers is the only city within the top 20 net contributors to the program that is not part of the regional wastewater system, and is the only city with its own wastewater treatment plant which is a significant net contributor/net loser to the program.

Read more: City of Rogers and State Representative Joyce Peppin Pursue Fiscal Disparities Legislation