On July 13, the Wykoff City Council met in regular session. Council members in attendance included Lyle Morey, Richard Gleason, Mayor Al Williams, and Mary Sackett. City Clerk Becky Schmidt and Deputy Clerk Luann Hare were also in attendance. Mary Tjepkes was absent.
The council discussed whether or not to hold the annual Fall Fest event, in light of coronavirus concerns. Mayor Williams shared his opinion that Fall Fest should be canceled. He explained that he’d much rather have to explain why the event was canceled, rather than have to explain why the event was NOT canceled (if citizens were to become ill after attending). The council voted unanimously to cancel this year’s Fall Fest.
The council considered the offer from the Wykoff Commons group, for the city to move city offices into the office space at the former school building. Eva Barr addressed the council, saying that in order to grow, cities sometimes need to “take a chance” on something. Council members voiced concerns that because the current city office setup is working OK, it wouldn’t make fiscal sense to spend more at this time. The council formally voted to not accept the offer from Wykoff Commons LLC.
The council heard from a developer interested in developing housing on a large lot near Silver Street. Mark Welch explained that the property is currently zoned R1, and he asked if it could be rezoned R2, or grandfathered in, to allow the multi-family development that his group would like to put on the property. Mary Sackett stated her feeling that if mobile homes or manufactured homes were to be brought in, it could decrease the property values of nearby homes. Welch suggested the city should be cautious about starting down a “slippery slope” of trying to deny mobile homes/manufactured homes/modular homes, and would be wiser to simply follow whatever specifications are for the applicable zoning designations.
After lengthy discussion, Welch stated, “I can read the tea leaves. We’re not going to request a CUP (Conditional Use Permit) for a manufactured home park.” He said the property will be divided into lots for uses that will comply with the specifications of either zoning designation (R1 of R2). The council chose to schedule a workshop on July 22 at 7 p.m., to consider updating the city’s zoning map.
The council returned to a previously discussed topic regarding the Conditional Use Permit (CUP) granted to CSC in the city. Becky Schmidt said she found out that cities have the authority to revoke a CUP if it is found that a business is not complying with the rules of the CUP. The council voted to revoke CSC’s CUP.
Shirley Hackenmiller and Shari Gartner each separately addressed the council regarding a recent issue/concern. Hackenmiller operates Inner Peace Massage, and she asked, “Does the city of Wykoff have a noise ordinance? A timeframe that people are supposed to be quiet?” Rich Gleason replied, “That’s a good question. We’ll have to look it up.” Hackenmiller went on to explain that at her business, she sometimes has clients in the evening, and other clients scheduled first thing the next morning, so she has occasionally stayed overnight at her business place, rather than driving an hour to her home in Osage, Iowa. She said she also has occasionally stayed overnight due to bad weather and/or road conditions. Becky Schmidt said, “If it’s zoned commercial, you can’t be living there. Is sleeping there occasionally living there? I guess that would be an opinion. I’d have to pull the ordinance and read it.” Rich Gleason pointed out that there is a clear difference between occasionally staying overnight, versus having a permanent residence set up.
Hackenmiller explained that she recently had discussions with Shari Gartner, owner of Shooter’s bar, which is next door to Inner Peace Massage. On a particular night when Hackenmiller was staying overnight, bar patrons were standing outside, and Hackenmiller was disturbed by the noise. Mary Sackett said that due to coronavirus guidelines, some outdoor allowances have been made for bars and restaurants. The council will check to find specifically what the applicable ordinances state regarding these concerns. Mayor Williams recommended that if there are noise concerns, the best action would be to call the sheriff’s department. Both Hackenmiller and Gartner stated that they hope to find a way to get along as business neighbors.
The council discussed that improper items have been left at the city’s “dump site” including a hog carcass and furniture. Some possible solutions were suggested, such as setting standard hours for the site, and/or installing video cameras. No action was taken at this time.
The council’s next regular meeting will be Monday, August 10, at 7 p.m. The public, as always, is welcomed.