2017 March Planning & Zoning Minutes



 The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. by Chairman Steve Kossett.  The Pledge of Allegiance was recited by those in attendance.  Present for the meeting were Chairman Kossett, Commission Members Katie Vukelich, Bob Whitmyer, John Hegstrom, Biron Wipson, Pete Branca, and Kathy Meyer, Zoning Administrator Teresa Koivula, Deputy Clerk Toni Blomdahl, City Councilor Suzanne Herstad, John Klaers Rice Lake City Planner from Klaers and Associates, and guests Caroline Hegstrom, Jeff and Jess Aili, Ray McClelland, Greg Andrews, and John Werner.

 John H. made a motion to approve the February 17, 2017 meeting minutes with a second by Kathy.  All vote in favor except for Bob who abstained.  Motion carried.

BUSINESS FROM THE FLOOR: Caroline Hegstrom from Boreal Farm was here to discuss her home business application.  John Hegstrom recused himself from the discussion at this point as he is part owner of the property.  Caroline discussed the business plan for the farm and noted there will be three ways they will be selling their produce; 1. Through a membership where the members can come and pick the produce themselves. 2. At a farm stand located on the property. 3. Selling at Farmer’s markets around the area.  Caroline stated it will be an organic farm producing berries, tree fruit, and vegetables and they will use swails and berms to catch the water to control runoff and irrigate the crops so the neighbor’s water supply should not be affected as they will not be using their well to irrigate.  Teresa stated the property owner has contacted all the appropriate agencies to make sure they are in compliance with their regulations as well as getting 26 favorable responses from the neighbors within a quarter mile of the property.  A motion was made by Bob to approve the Home Business Permit for Boreal Farms with a second from Katie.  All vote in favor except for John Hegstrom who recused himself.  Motion carried.  Caroline came back into the meeting a little later and asked to address the Commission, she stated she spoke with Jeff and Jess Aili, her neighbors, who were here to talk about her Home Business application.  Caroline stated they had some concerns regarding their privacy and security from trespassers but weren’t sure during which portion of the meeting they should voice their concerns.  Caroline stated their business plan incorporates a wind break with 30 foot tall tree and a thorny rose brush which should address the privacy and security concerns.  Caroline stated they will place a private drive sign at the neighbor’s driveway and a sign on their driveway clearly noting the entrance to the farm.  Caroline also stated the fence law in the State of Minnesota notes the party concerned has to install the fence.  Steve thanked Caroline for coming back and voicing the neighbor’s concerns but the decision made earlier will stand and the plan is approved.




Small Area Project: Suzanne presented to the commission John Klaers proposal for a small area development plan for Rice Lake Corridor and noted City Council has approved the proposal.  Suzanne stated John Klaers will be heading up the plan with the commission’s help as our current comprehensive plan is outdated but it is too costly to update the whole plan, so we are going to focus on certain areas.  John Klaers stated he will collect data and more details in order to come up with options for the commission to consider.  John stated it should take 90 – 100 days to complete which will include updating the zoning map and code.  John stated we can then show the plan to potential developers.  Steve stated he thought it was a good idea and asked if we would be scheduling work meetings for this project.  John Klaers stated he will prepare reports and send them to the commission for review before our regular meetings and he believes we should be able to handle it all at the regular meetings so work meetings should not be needed.  Bob asked about the maps John will be creating and whether they will use GPS coordinates.  John stated he will use St. Louis County Land Explorer with overlays for wetlands, road access plan, and frontage roads.

Ordinance #22 changes: Teresa shared with the commission the proposed changes to Ordinance #22 Article II Definitions.  There was much discussion on the definition presented so Teresa will continue to work on them for discussion at future meetings.

A motion was made by John to approve the proposed changes to the Lot Dimension Table in reference to lot coverage for Industrial, Light Industrial, and Public with a second by Bob.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried and the changes will be added to the list for updates at a public hearing.

A motion was made by John to approve the proposed changes to Section 2.02 Exemptions as presented with a second by Biron.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried and the changes will be added to the list for updates at a public hearing.

A motion was made by Biron to approve the proposed changes to Section 6 as presented with a second by Kathy.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried and the changes will be added to the list for updates at a public hearing.

Teresa presented some proposed changes to Article V Land Use Controls and Article VI for Home Business and Home Occupation in reference to Salvage Facilities.  There was some discussion on this matter and the Commission would like Teresa to work on the proposed definition for Salvage Facilities before a decision will be made.  Teresa will work on the definition for next meeting.

A motion was made by Katie to approve the proposed changes to Article IX as presented with a change to the chairman and vice-chairman to serve a three-year term with a second by John.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried and the changes will be added to the list for updates at a public hearing.

Work Meeting for Ordinance #22 changes: Teresa stated there are unfinished proposed changes to Ordinance #22 and would like to schedule a work meeting to go over them.  The commission agreed to meet on Thursday, April 6, 2017 at 6:00 pm.

Joint Airport Zoning Board (JAZB): Teresa gave the commission the minutes from the December 1st meeting and

stated the Joint Airport Zoning Board met on Thursday, March 2nd at 3:30 pm.  Teresa stated the airport is going to continue working on their runway reconstruction this year and noted the Board has been working on the zoning text for the last three years.  Teresa stated the zoning text was forwarded to MNDOT who changed some of the language and submitted it to the Minnesota House of Representatives.  Teresa stated the legislature is working on changing airport zoning throughout the state and there is an approved bill in the House, but it needs a companion bill in the Senate which has not been presented yet, so she is not sure if the legislature will move forward.  Teresa stated the next JAZB meeting is scheduled for Friday, June 2nd at 1:30 pm.

Next Meeting Date: Steve stated the next Planning and Zoning meeting is Tuesday, April 18, 2017 at 6:00 p.m.

Having nothing further to discuss, Kathy made a motion with a second by John Hegstrom to adjourn the meeting.  All vote in favor.  Motion carried and the meeting was adjourned.