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Preston Council requires developer to comply with parking ordinance

Fri, Dec 20th, 2002
Posted in Features

The Preston City Council approved a development agreement between the city and Corson Condominium Corporation at their Monday, December 16 meeting. Corson, who is developing 12 new apartment units at the old elementary school property, has asked the city for property tax abatements for a period of 10 years.The only stumbling block to the agreement being finalized has to do with the developer’s responsibility to comply with the city parking ordinance, which calls for two parking spaces per single unit that is developed.The agreement that the council approved on Monday, gives Corson until November 2004 to comply with the city parking ordinance.In correspondence with the city, Steve Corson asked that the two spaces per unit parking requirement be waived and replaced with 11/4 spaces per unit. Corson recommended making up any shortfall by placing spaces on gravel. He also asked that the blacktop requirement be grandfathered in.In his letter, Corson argued that the language regarding parking could be omitted due to the fact that the conversion of the school into apartments started prior to the city passing its parking ordinance.This fact was disputed by most members of the council, who recalled the ordinance going into effect in 1987, well before the start of the apartment project. Corson’s correspondence sparked considerable debate, including whether the corporation meets the parking requirements now.City Administrator Fred Nagle said that the parking ordinance is there to keep on-street parking to a minimum. “If the streets are full, it creates problems for snow plows and emergency vehicles,” Nagle said.After the council approved the agreement, which upheld the parking requirement, City Attorney David Joerg said that it is now up to Corson.“It’s his choice,” Joerg said. “Either he agrees or abandons the tax abatement request, which comes to about $26,000.” In a related matter, the council authorized the city attorney to talk to Cecil Anderson of Anderson Homes LLC to inform him that a deferred special assessment issued in 1998 for $60,000 to Eugene and Helen Anderson would be assessed beginning in 2003. The 24 acre Golf View Estates is broken up into 18 lots. Each lot will be assessed at $3333 over a 15 year period. Other Business•The council accepted a Community Assessment Study Report from Crescendo Consulting on the proposed recreation and aquatic center. The study showed that there is adequate philanthropic capacity in the Preston area to raise the capital necessary to build a $3 million facility.Steering Committee Chair, Council member Steve Knoepke told the council that the committee would report back to the city council by February 1 showing the results of research looking at operating costs for a new facility. According to Knoepke, the committee will focus its attention on towns of similar size operating recreation and aquatic centers. •The council approved a contract for 2003 with the Southeast Minnesota Development Corporation for the services of Barry Kramer, who serves as the Economic Development Authority Coordinator.•The council set the total levy for 2003 at $404,066, a 3.45% increase from 2002.

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