P& Z Minutes Oct. 1, 2014

October 1, 2014


OCTOBER 1, 2014


Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Saint Peter was conducted in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on October 1, 2014.

A quorum present, Chairperson Jerry Harty called the meeting to order at 5:30 p.m.  The following members were present:  Commissioners Zieman, Kvamme, Hoehn, and Hulsebus.  Absent was Commissioner Algers.  The following official was present: Community Development Director Wille.

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Zieman, to approve the agenda.  With all in favor, the motion carried. 

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Hulsebus, to approve the minutes of the September 3, 2014 regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting with corrections to attendance, titles and other grammatical errors to be made by staff.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the minutes were approved with the corrections to be made by staff.  A complete copy of the minutes of the September 3, 2014 regular Planning and Zoning Commission meeting is contained in the Community Development book entitled Planning and Zoning Commission Minutes. 

Public Hearing:  Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 Preliminary Plat – Community Development Director Wille provided background on the development of the Washington Terrace Subdivision and the City Council’s intent to develop Outlot C as multi-family housing.  Wille noted the subdivision had been developed under the “Building Better Neighborhoods” (BBN) concept and the City had received financing from both the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and the Greater Minnesota Housing Fund for development of the subdivision.  Wille stated that one of the funding requirements was that the BBN concept be followed and that required a mix of uses including multi-family development in the subdivision.  Wille noted the public hearing was only to receive comment on the proposed plat for the property and the Council had already agreed to the sale and development of a 24 unit, market rate housing complex to be constructed on the lot in stages.

Chairperson Harty opened the public hearing at 5:42 p.m. 

Wille read a letter into the record from Tara Schroeder, 2110 Turpin Street, expressing opposition to the development and the unwanted traffic it would bring to the area and her concerns over the decreased property values a multi-family complex would bring to the “upper middle class homes” in the neighborhood.  Schroeder also encouraged development of the Outlot as single family or twin homes.

Jack Burch, 2123 Bunker Lane, questioned whether it was true that building permits had already been issued for the development.  Wille indicated no permit had been issued.

Mark Freeman, 2112 York Street, expressed concern that development of the property would lead to more vehicle lights shining in his windows and that “it doesn’t make sense to locate it at the farthest corner of Saint Peter”.  Freeman stated neighborhood children use the property for playing, sledding, snowmobiling, and walking dogs.  Freeman expressed concerns about increased parking on Bunker Lane and asked if Bunker Lane would be designated as “no parking”.

Eileen Watson, 2113 Stark Street, expressed concerns for the safety of area children running across the street to the bus stop and indicated that she would have to provide more supervision when her children play outside.

Kristie Miller, 2117 Bunker Lane, expressed her appreciation that the new development would have a high level of landscaping and attached garages.  Miller also questioned if the new development would utilize rain gardens like those established in the Park Row Crossing development.

Brianna Freeman, 2112 York Street, stated she feels penalized for building in Washington Terrace Subdivision and expressed concern that her property values would decrease if the multi-family complex was built.  She also expressed concerns for wildlife in the area and that the new development would cause her home to no longer be a good investment.

Mike Bus, 2113 Stark Street, questioned how the garages would be attached.  Staff indicated the garages would be in the back of the property.  Bus then expressed concerns that the rest of the neighborhood would not be able to see what the new residents might be doing in the back and suggested they could be illegally hunting, or “tearing it up”.  Bus also questioned where neighborhood children would be able to play when the lot was taken away from them.

Chris Glassel, 2101 York Street, questioned what would happen with the market rate units if all the units were not rented and questioned if the complex could become subsidized.  Glassel also expressed concerns that he would no longer be able to leave items outside his home and everything would have to be locked up.

Scott Lusk, 2121 Bunker Lane, questioned if the units could be sold as single condominiums.

Angie Moreau, 605 Bassford Street, stated her belief that the subdivision is “overpopulated” and adding more residents would cause chaos with the school bus system that is already overloaded to the point where children have to sit on the floor of the bus.  Moreau stated he won’t feel safe letting her kids play outside anymore and that the Police Department doesn’t provide a lot of support for the residents of Washington Terrace Subdivision because they are on the edge of the community.  Moreau claimed the Police Department had failed to respond in a timely manner to her reports of a drunk driver and a vicious dog.

Mr. Bus again addressed the Commission to complain about employees from a group home near his property parking in front of his home in his property’s parking spaces.

Gloria Lager, 2109 Stark Street, questioned whether a different exit/entrance can be developed for the subdivision.  Lager indicated that the North Washington Avenue intersection with Dodd Avenue/Highway 22 becomes very congested in the morning.  Lager requested a stop light or four way stop be constructed.

There being no further speakers, the hearing was declared closed at 6:03 p.m.

Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 Preliminary Plat – Community Development Director Wille addressed the comments made at the public hearing as follows:

  • The location of the multi-family lot had been platted by the Council to eliminate the tenants of the complex from driving by the single family homes multiple times.
  • There are no plans at this time to restrict parking in the subdivision and all residents are allowed to park on the street in compliance with City parking regulations. 
  • The development agreement approved by the City Council requires the complex owner to participate in the Police Department’s Crime-Free Multi-housing program which requires all tenants to undergo background investigations.
  • Wille and Commissioner Zieman indicated there is no evidence that construction of a multi-family facility near single family homes causes property values to decrease.  Zieman further stated that recent evidence for properties near the Park Row Crossing development showed the property values might actually increase.
  • Any behavior by tenants of the multi-family complex which is not allowed under the law would be addressed by the Police Department.
  • The complex would be built in stages with each subsequent stage not being constructed until the first complex was filled which would alleviate concerns about the units becoming something other than market rate.  Zieman also noted that the rent (expected to be $1,100-$1,200 per month for the larger units), are established so that the developer can pay the costs of the business.
  • To turn the complex into condos, the developer would have to petition for subdivision of each one of the units separately and would have to invest substantial funds into separating utilities for each unit.
  • The Minnesota Department of Transportation will not allow a stop light or four-way stop at the intersection with Dodd Avenue.

Commissioner Hoehn questioned if there were park facilities in proximity to the Washington Terrace Subdivision.  Wille reported Gault Park, located just to the west of Washington Terrace Subdivision, is considered the neighborhood park for the area.

Chairperson Harty asked if crosswalks could be installed on Bunker Lane.  Wille reported City staff would continue to monitor traffic control needs in the area.  Harty also asked if there was adequate off-street parking for visitors of the complex.  Wille indicated the developer would be required to comply with City Code requirements for two off-street parking spaces for each unit.

Commissioner Zieman suggested those that have concerns about the lack of bus space contact the School District directly and offered the assistance of the City Administrator.

Marlys Burch, 2123 Bunker Lane, questioned whether the complex would have an onsite rental agent.  Wille indicated there was no plan for that when the units first opened, but it might occur at a later time.  Burch indicated it was very important to her that an on-site person be available to contact when there are problems.

Commissioner Kvamme suggested that if the parking problems persist with the employees of the group homes, that residents contact the City Administrator who will negotiate with the group home owner to solve the issue.

Community Development Director Wille recommended approval of the preliminary plat of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2.   

In motion by Kvamme, seconded by Hoehn, Resolution No. 2014-07 entitled “Resolution Recommending Approval Of The Preliminary Plat Of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2” was introduced. 

Commissioner Kvamme reminded those in attendance that the limited availability of multi-family housing in Saint Peter impacts people who want to live in the community and that units are rented as quickly as they are completed.  Kvamme also noted it was very unusual to have a market rate complex constructed and indicated he was very much in favor of the plat and the development.

Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted

Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 Final Plat –  Community Development Director Wille recommended approval of the final plat of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2 and noted that the designation of “Bunker Street” on the plat would be corrected to “Bunker Lane” before being printed on velum.  In motion by Zieman, seconded by Kvamme, Resolution No. 2014-08 entitled “Resolution Recommending Approval Of The Final Plat Of Washington Terrace Subdivision No. 2”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted. 

Registered Land Survey No. 67 – Community Development Director Wille recommended the Commission recommend to the City Council approval of a waiver of subdivision for Lot 7, Block 1 Martinson’s Subdivision owned by Greg and Denise Engels and acceptance of Registered Land Survey No. 67 which would provide for the twin homes on the parcel to be divided into two separate parcels so they may be sold separately.  Wille noted that the original action requested by the property owner in 2000 was expected to have included this action, but the Council action (to create a planned unit development) had only completed a portion of the request and the action before the Commission would complete the request for the property owner.    Wille noted that the Registered Land Survey also created “Tract C” which was necessary because the deck of a neighboring property owner had been constructed on to the Engel’s property and Tract C would be sold to the neighbor.  Wille pointed out that the deck would not meet property setbacks, but the sale would allow the deck to at least be on the correct owner’s property.

Commission members questioned the shared driveway and possible problems with maintenance and snow removal.  Surveyor Nate Murra of Survey Services, indicated the property sale would include maintenance agreements for the driveway.

In motion by Zieman, seconded by Hulsebus, Resolution No 2014-09, entitled “Resolution Approving Waiver Of Subdivision For Lot 7, Block 1 Martinson’s Subdivision, City of Saint Peter, Nicollet County, Minnesota And Accepting Registered Land Survey No. 67”, was introduced.  Upon roll call, with all in favor, the Resolution was declared passed and adopted. 

There being no further business, a motion was made by Hoehn, seconded by Hulsebus, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:52 p.m.