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SUNFISH LAKE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – SEPTEMBER 17, 2014
7:00 P.M. - ST. ANNE’S EPISCOPAL CHURCH
Commissioners: Tom Schlehuber, Tom Hendrickson, Shari Hansen, and Ginny Beckett.
City Planner: Michelle Barness
City Clerk: Cathy Iago
Chair Andrea McCue was absent.
1. CALL TO ORDER: Acting Chair Schlehuber called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
2. ADOPT AGENDA: Acting Chair Schlehuber asked if there were any additions to the agenda and there was no response.
Commissioner Beckett moved to adopt the agenda, seconded by Commissioner Hansen and carried. (4-0)
3. APPROVE MINUTES AUGUST 20, 2014: Acting Chair Schlehuber asked if there were any additions or corrections to August 20, 2014 Planning Commission minutes and there was no response.
Commissioner Hendrickson moved to approve the August 20, 2014 Planning Commission minutes as presented, seconded by Commissioner Beckett and carried. (4-0)
4. PUBLIC HEARING; Major Site and Building Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit, 45 Salem Church Road, Linda and Mark Casagrande: Acting Chair Schlehuber opened the public hearing for the property at 45 Salem Church Road and asked the Planner to present the application.
Planner Barness stated the applicants are requesting approval of a Major Site and Building Plan Review and a Conditional Use Permit to allow construction of a new home, garage and driveway on an undeveloped lot located at 45 Salem Church Road. She explained the parcel does not meet the City’s 2.5 acre net lot area requirement due to the presence of a large drainage easement running through the site. She noted that a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) is required to allow development of a legal non-conforming lot and also a Major Site and Building Plan Review is required to construct a new home on the lot.
The Planner explained that the applicants wish to construct a one-story home with a walkout basement and attached garage. She advised that the new home would be located on the southwest portion of the site to avoid intrusion into the large easement. She stated the gross floor area of the home would be approximately 4,100 sq. ft. which includes a 1,244 sq. ft. attached garage, but does not include the basement area of the home.
Planner Barness stated that the proposed home meets all R-1 Single Family District Standards including lot width, lot line setback requirements, maximum building coverage and building height requirements. She explained that the gross size of the parcel is 2.5 acres, however, approximately half of the parcel contains a drainage easement. She stated that the net lot area of the property is nearly half of what is requirement and therefore requires approval of a conditional use permit to develop a non-conforming legal lot of record.
The Planner showed the building elevations and stated that the exterior of the home would be a combination of board and batten siding stone veneer and shingle style composite siding, all of which are approved exterior building finishes. She noted the Building Inspector had reviewed the plan set and had no comments regarding the application. She further stated that the building plan were reviewed against the City’s Design Guidelines and also met those standards. She noted that there are no detached structure proposed at this time.
Planner Barness stated that the driveway would be accessed from Salem Church Road on the southern portion of the site to avoid intrusion into the easement. She noted that a few trees would be removed along the south property line. She noted that the City Engineer recommended the remaining trees be protected during construction and also provided other recommendations pertaining to the placement and grading of driveway and parking areas as listed in his report dated September 8, 2014. She commented that the driveway meets all City Code requirements.
The Planner explained that the applicants had provided a lighting plan with details for lighting at the home and garage entrances, and also one light proposed midway on the rear of the home. She stated that the applicants must demonstrate that the exposed lighting cannot be viewed from adjacent properties and do not cast any light that exceeds on foot candle on nearby residential properties as measured from the property line. She further noted that she spoke with the applicants to suggest a little more “hooding” on the proposed lighting fixtures and informed them that no “bare” lighting is allowed.
Planner Barness stated that the applicants provided a landscaping plan and it was suggested that additional trees or shrubs be placed north of the patio for screening purposes; she noted that this was also discussed with the applicants during the site visit this evening. She stated that the landscaping plan meets ordinance requirements and that the area of the property not covered with lawn would be native prairie grasses.
The Planner stated that the City Engineer had reviewed the plans and addressed the grading, drainage and storm water management issues on the site. She stated there are two (2) dry swales proposed on the property to collect, trap and treat water prior to its entering the drainage easements. She noted the areas where silt fencing would be placed and referred to the list of conditions that the City Engineer requested be met prior to submission of the application for Council approval. She pointed out that no fencing is proposed at this time, however, there are a few retaining walls proposed that must be reviewed by the City Engineer if they exceed 4 ft. in height. She stated the City Engineer recommended approval of the application subject to the conditions as listed in his report dated September 8, 2014.
Planner Barness explained that the City Forester had reviewed the landscape plans and had no comments. She further noted that the applicants provided the location of a primary and secondary septic site on the parcel along with detailed construction plans. She noted the plans and application were forwarded to the City Septic Inspector who had no comments on the project at this time. The Applicants must obtain a permit prior to installation of the septic system and must adhere to all requirements recommended by the Septic Inspector.
The Planner stated that the application for the Major Site and Building Plan meet all evaluation criteria as listed on page 5 of her report dated September 10, 2014. The Planner further noted that the application also meets all criteria for approval of the Conditional Use Permit for a non-conforming legal lot of record as shown on page 6 of her report dated September 10, 2014.
Planner Barness stated that staff recommends approval of the requests subject to conditions as listed on pages 7 and 8 of her report and the conditions as recommended by the City Engineer in his report. She noted that she had drafted “Findings of Fact” that include all the conditions for Commission consideration.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber thanked the Planner and opened the public hearing for comments or questions from the floor. He asked that anyone speaking provide their name and address for the record.
Dan O’Leary, 10 Windy Hill Road, commented that he wished to commend the City Engineer for recommending an increase to the foundation height of his home when it was approved by the City. He noted that although it cost him a substantial amount of money, it kept his basement from being flooded during the heavy rainfalls. He stated his only concern relates to storm water runoff from the subject property since his home is located directly downhill from the parcel and the water would end up in his basement. He commented that he and his wife wish to insure that the water runs into the drainage easements so that it would not impact their property.
Planner Barness referred to the drainage diagram to show the O’Leary’s the path the runoff would follow on the proposed property. She noted that the water follows a path away from the northern portion of the property.
Commissioner Hendrickson agreed that nothing on the contour plans provided to the City show the runoff impacting their property; he noted that the runoff does not enter the drainage easement until it is close to the roadway.
Patty O’Leary, 10 Windy Hill Road, asked if the City Engineer’s recommendations would have to be met by the applicants and the Planner responded yes.
Commissioner Hendrickson noted that the City Engineer requested a change in the outlet size.
The Planner explained that the City Engineer requested the drainage swale slopes be revised and that the applicants monitor the south property line to ensure that the water stays onsite in this area and enters the drainage swales due to the installation of a berm in this area. She advised that she discussed these items with the applicants.
Miles Shaver, 7 Salem Lane, thanked the Planner for providing a detailed report and the Engineer for his concern relating to the drainage issues. He also expressed concern regarding the drainage and pointed out that if the easement is interrupted during construction it would cause problems for adjacent properties. He commented that plan looks great and requested staff work to insure there is no interruption of the easement.
Planner Barness pointed out that the City has done mid-process visits to other sites to insure that all recommendations are in order and suggested that a condition for a mid-construction site visit could be included as part of the approval process.
Linda and Mark Casagrande, the applicants, stated they would welcome the City professionals input during the construction process and would also appreciate the City keeping an eye on their vendors to insure they are doing the work correctly.
Commissioner Hendrickson noted that the building had commented during the site visit this evening that he would prefer not to disturb more than 1-acre of the site, although it may be hard to accomplish.
Liisa Ojala, 5 Salem Lane, expressed her concern that when adding impervious surface to a property there would be need to take additional water and runoff from the site. She suggested asking the builder to consider what further could be done to insure the runoff stays on the site. She noted that the end of the culvert on Salem Church Road could not be found and if there is an overflow of water it forms a lake on the property. She suggested increasing the size of the drainage swales would benefit everyone. She noted that her property contains a large forest of Aspen trees that grows larger due to the flooding in that area.
Ray Ojala, 5 Salem Lane, asked if the City has considered placing another culvert in this area so there are double culverts to divert the water. He noted that all the runoff from Windy Hill Road drains to the area.
Planner Barness stated that the audience concerns are valid but appear to be related to neighborhood drainage issues. She pointed out that the City Engineer recommended the two (2) drainage swales for this application to meet City requirements and that the concerns expressed may relate to other drainage issues.
Clerk Iago pointed out that the City recently completed an improvement project in the Windy Hill Road and Windy Hill Court area and also addressed some drainage issues along Salem Church Road. She suggested that staff could provide information to the City Engineer regarding the concerns raised this evening; however, she agreed that the concerns may relate City drainage issues versus the applicants request to construct their home. She advised that the comments would be forwarded to the City Engineer and could be addressed at the Council meeting in October.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber questioned the fact that the end of the culvert on Salem Church Road could not be found and stated he would prefer to know where the culvert ends.
Commissioner Hendrickson stated the builder commented that he could not find the end of the culvert. He pointed out that the Engineer requested the applicants document the condition of the pipe and any sediment prior to beginning construction.
Clerk Iago indicated that the City Engineer may know where the culvert ends since the City conducts annual inspections of the culverts.
Commissioner Hendrickson asked if the Planner had received any other written or verbal comments from neighbors and the Planner responded no.
The Planner advised that the applicants were present to respond to questions.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber asked why there are two separate septic systems are proposed.
Commissioner Hendrickson explained there is only one septic system and one alternate location.
Linda Casagrande explained that they would be installing a peat system not a mound system.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber asked if there any further comments and hearing no response, closed the public hearing. He asked if the Commission had any further comments and there was no response.
Commissioner Hendrickson moved to recommend approval of the Major Site and Building Plan and Conditional Use Permit for the property located at 45 Salem Church Road, subject to the conditions as listed in the Findings of Fact dated September 17, 2014, with an amendment to Finding No. 4 to include the sentence; “As well as provide document/pictures as recommended by the City Engineer in his report.” and with an additional condition to require a mid-process building site inspection be completed by staff to insure that the grading was done property and the erosion control methods are working properly, seconded by Acting-Chair Schlehuber.
There was discussion relating to when the mid-process site inspection should be done. Linda Casagrande stated that they wished to start construction in October and plan to be done with the home in March, 2015.
Mark Casagrande explained that the ground would be frozen in January, which would be the mid-way point of construction.
After a brief discussion the Commission concurred to include the date of December 1, 2014 in the condition requiring the mid-process visit.
Commissioner Hendrickson and Acting-Chair Schlehuber, as maker and second of the motion agreed to the amendment to include the date of December 1, 2014 for the mid-process site visit by staff.
Motion as amended carried. (4-0)
5. PUBLIC HEARING; Site and Building Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit, 329 Salem Church Road, Thomas Hall & Julie Kunkel: Acting-Chair Schlehuber opened the public hearing for the property at 329 Salem Church Road and asked the Planner to present the application.
Planner Barness explained the applicants are requesting approval of Major Site and Building Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to allow the construction of garage addition on the property located at 329 Salem Church Road. She stated the existing detached garage is 895 sq. ft. in area and the wish to add an additional 282 sq. ft. of storage space for lawn maintenance equipment and vehicles, increase the size of the garage to 1,177 sq. ft. She advised that a Cup is required to allow a detached accessory structure exceeding 1,000 sq. ft. in area and when an accessory structure requires a CUP, a Major Site and Building Plan Review is also required.
The Planner stated that the proposed garage addition meets all R-1 Single Family District standards outlined in the Zoning Code as relates to building materials, setbacks, building height and maximum building coverage. She noted that detached accessory structures on non-lake frontage lots are required to maintain a 100 ft. front setback and 25 ft. side and rear yard setbacks; however, such uses may encroach into the required rear and side yard setback with the exception of encroaching into an existing easement. The propose expansion is located in the rear yard and will not intrude on easements.
Planner Barness stated that the applicants had discussed an alternate location for the addition on the west side of the structure, but their preference was to place the addition on the east as presented this evening. She explained that the expansion would be screened from neighboring properties and the design and positioning of the building is not anticipated to have negative impact on surrounding neighbors. She noted that the expansion would be screened from neighboring properties by existing vegetation along the east lot line and the applicants proposes to add a viburnum shrub hedge around the northeast and southeast sides of the addition. She further explained that the applicants have discussed the garage expansion with neighbors and found no objections to the project.
The Planner stated that the garage expansion would be placed on the existing drive and would not require an increase in the driveway surface. She explained that only 49 sq. ft. of the expansion would occur beyond the existing hard surface and that with the 49 sq. ft. increase the site would contain approximately 9 percent impervious surface and meets the Ordinance standards.
Planner Barness reviewed the Site and Building Plan Evolution Criteria as shown on pages 4 and 5 in her report dated September 10, 2014 and stated that staff found the plan and design of the addition meets all criteria as explained in the report. She also reviewed the criteria relating to Conditional Use Permits as shown on pages 5 and 6 of her report and stated that staff found the plan meets all criteria as explained in the report.
The Planner noted that drainage of the site is not anticipated to be impacted with the minimal addition of 49 sq. ft. of hard surface in area not already within existing bituminous. She advised that a silt fence would be provided to contain any potential soil movement during construction of the garage footings.
Planner Barness explained that the City Engineer reviewed the plans and recommended approval of the requests. Staff also recommends approval of the request with conditions as listed in the “Findings of Fact” dated September 17 2014. She advised that the applicants were present to respond to questions.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber asked if there were any comments from the public.
Paul McGinley of Loucks and Associates was present representing the applicants. He stated that the Planner’s report appropriately describes the proposal. He questioned if the first condition listed on page 3 of the Findings of Fact would be changed as discussed with staff.
Tom Hall, 329 Salem Church Road, expressed his concern relating to the proposed plantings disturbing an existing Oak tree. He explained that he wished to insure that he would not be installing more plantings than the area can handle and asked for flexibility with the landscaping.
The Planner displayed an alternative Condition No.1 under the Findings of Fact regarding tree protection and pointed out that there would be some flexibility for the plantings to be installed by the applicants based on conditions on the site.
There was discussion with the Commission regarding whether or not the proposed shrubs would grow in a shady area and the Commission concurred that it would be appropriate to allow some flexibility with the plantings.
Commissioner Hansen stated that in her opinion it is a good plan and good use of the space.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber agreed and stated he liked the fact that the plan does not add substantial hard surface or building coverage. He asked if there were any further comments and, hearing no response, se closed the public hearing.
Acting-Chair Schlehuber asked if there were any further comments from the Commission and there was no response.
Commissioner Hansen moved to recommend approval of Major Site and Building Plan and Conditional Use Permit to allow construction of a garage addition at 329 Salem Church Road, based on the Findings of Fact dated September 17, 2014 with the amendment to Condition No. 1 regarding tree protection measures, and recognizing the City would allow the applicant flexibility with the landscaping plan as recommended by the Planner, seconded by Commissioner Beckett and carried. (4-0)
ADJOURN: Acting-Chair Schlehuber asked if there was any further business.
Commissioner Hendrickson questioned if the Planning Commissioners were bound by the Open Meeting laws.
Clerk Iago stated she was unsure since they are a recommending body and not elected officials; she stated she would ask the City Attorney for an opinion and report to the Commission.
The Planner advised that there were no formal applications submitted and that the October Planning Commission meeting would be cancelled.
Commissioner Hendrickson moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:00 p.m., seconded by Commissioner Hansen and carried. 4-0)
Catherine Iago, City Clerk