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Residences in Chatfield Commercial District, a Conditional Use Only

Fri, May 31st, 2013
Posted in Chatfield Business Announcements

Kristi Clarke, Planning and Zoning, reviewed three text amendment recommendations to Chapter 113 of the city’s Zoning Ordinance at the city council’s May 28 meeting.

The amendment causing the most controversy during debate and during a public hearing was a possible amendment to the General Commercial District (B-1) or the downtown commercial district. There was a request to allow residential uses above and below commercial establishments. The greatest concerns involved parking and safety standards.

The use analysis of the building space on Main Street showed that 54 percent of the space is used for commercial purposes and 46 percent for residential purposes. There are 31 upper story apartments. Residents park in the alleys or in private lots and commercial parking is available on Main Street. Parking space is limited.

Residential use was moved from the permitted use section to the conditional use section, which will allow the city to review a residential use request on a case by case basis and allow the city to put conditions on the use. The city will now be able to assess parking availability. A residential use will require a parking stall off main street.

Two other amendments were recommended. In the Light Commercial District (B-3) an additional condition is proposed to be added which would require pole buildings to be subject to screening, appearance, height and size requirements.

After a resident in the B-1 (commercial district) asked about building a detached garage, Clarke realized the setbacks used in commercial and industrial zones for accessory buildings would not work well in this residential neighborhood. The amendment would place standards for residential uses in a non-conforming zone (in the commercial district) in compliance with residential uses, if the property is being used for residential purposes.

The council voted to authorize the city attorney to draft an ordinance reflecting the proposed amendments.

City Clerk Joel Young noted that there has been an effort for several years to dedicate a public right of way that is serving as Root River Street in west Chatfield, Minn. One property owner has requested that the city vacate a small portion of the existing right of way which isn’t used by the public and then the property owner would sign off on the paperwork to dedicate the public right of way. The council voted to authorize the city attorney to draft an ordinance to vacate the small parcel.

Other Business In Brief

•After considerable discussion, the council approved the replacement of trees on Main Street with grates to be installed around them instead of bricks. Tony Lammers said during the discussion that you won’t please everybody no matter what you do. The plan is to put the trees in all at the same time, but to put in trees of differing sizes so they won’t have to be removed and replanted all at the same time.

•City Clerk Joel Young reported that there had been a meeting with representatives of the school district on May 20. Having estimated that modifying the ball park at Mill Creek Park would cost about $10,000, the school district decided to put that idea on hold due to the cost.

The tennis court lights are not operable. The school district will find out what it will cost to get the lights operable. Young said the city and the school district are looking at each installing a drinking fountain within the city.

•Tyler Burke was hired as Maintenance Worker, effective May 29. There were 38 applications for the position.

•Young reported that the city of Chatfield has been offered a grant from the Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) in the amount of $500,000 to assist in the development of an Industrial Park on County Road 10. The money would be used to help with the cost of taking water and sewer to that area. There will be more discussion about that possible project with this money coming available.

•Mayor Russ Smith noted the city has received a Certificate of Accommodation from the MPCA to the Wastewater Treatment Plant staff for 2012. This is the fifth certificate since 2008.

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