- DRAFT –

SUNFISH LAKE PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING – JUNE 16, 2022

7:00 P.M. – ONLINE MEETING



Attendants:

Chair:   Tom Hendrickson

Commissioners:  Shannon Nelson and Dominick Driano
City Planner:  Lori Johnson

City Clerk:  Cathy Iago

   and Members of the General Public.

Commissioner Jeannine Nayes was absent

1.    CALL TO ORDER:  Chair Hendrickson called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.

2.    ADOPT AGENDA:  Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any additions to the agenda.

Commissioner Nelson asked that discussion of returning to In-Person meetings be added to the agenda.

Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any further additions to the agenda and there was no response.

Commissioner Nelson moved to adopt the agenda as amended, seconded by Chair Hendrickson and carried (3-0) 

3.    APPROVE MINUTES MARCH 17, 2022:   Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any additions or corrections to the minutes of the March 17, 2022 Planning Commission meeting and there was no response.

Chair Hendrickson moved to approve the minutes of the March 17, 2022 Planning Commission meeting as presented, seconded by Commissioner Driano and carried. (3-0)

4.   PUBLIC HEARING:  A.  MAJOR SITE PLAN REVIEW AND CONDITIONAL USE PERMIT, 15 Sunnyside Lane, Applicant Jeff Lindgren, Property Owners Howard and Julie Punch:    Chair Hendrickson opened the meeting for the purpose of conducting a public hearing on the Major Site Plan Review and Conditional Use Permit for property located at 15 Sunnyside Lane.  He reviewed the procedures for conducting a public hearing and asked the Planner to present her report.

Planner Johnson referred to her report dated June 9, 2022 and stated that an on-site meeting was conducted at the property earlier this evening to review the proposed plans for construction of a new home at 15 Sunnyside Lane and a walkway to the lake on the vacant lot to the west and adjacent to this parcel.  She stated that both lots are zoned R-1 Single-Family Residential and also are located within the Shoreland Overlay District.


The Planner explained that the previous home on this property was demolished and that the applicant plans to construct an 8,200 sq. ft. new home on the site with a rear yard pool and patio. She noted that the size of the home listed in her report was 5,200 sq. ft., however, that was incorrect.  Because this property is in the Shoreland Overlay District, accessory structure such as pools require a Conditional Use Permit (CUP).  A CUP is also required because the walkway to the lake is on an adjacent property owned by this property owner, but currently there is no principal structure on that property.  She advised that the City Zoning Ordinance allows an accessory structure (walkway to the lake) on a vacant lot with the issuance of a conditional use permit.

Planner Johnson stated that the new home and pool proposed meet or exceed all required site setbacks. She advised that the total impervious surface coverage for the lot on which the home and pool are located and the lot on which the walkaway is located is six percent. The impervious surface on the home lot is 12.8%; the total impervious surface coverage allowed is 30%.

The Planner stated that the new home will have two (2) access located on Sunnyside Lane, which lead to a half-circular drive in the front yard of the property.  Two entrance monuments are located adjacent to the entrances to the property and will be located on the south side of the north driveway and the north side of the south driveway.  She explained that there is also a driveway that leads to the north side of the home and the rear of the lot.

Planner Johnson stated that the pool, pool deck and rear patio would be 3,823 sq. ft. and are located in the rear yard on the property. She noted that a fire table and seating will be provide on the pool deck and rear patio.

The Planner displayed photos of the proposed home structure and advised that it would be 28.5 ft. in height and constructed with Hardie siding and stucco, cedar shingles and stone along with decorative window trim and shutters.  The exterior elevations meet the requirements of the zoning ordinance.

Planner Johnson stated that 96 trees would be removed from the site, with 29 being ash trees and 5 being dead trees.  She explained that the applicant proposes 70 trees will be replaced and the City Forester reviewed and is in agreement with the landscape plan.  She advised that the lighting plan provided locations of outdoor fixtures as well as foot candle measurements at the property line.  The City requires foot candle readings at the property line to be less than 1 foot candle and the foot candle readings at these property lines is at 0.0 which meets ordinance requirements.

The Planner pointed out that a temporary construction vehicle parking area would be utilized to the north side of the site in order to keep construction vehicles from blocking traffic on Sunnyside Lane and will be removed when they are no longer needed on site. 

Planner Johnson explained that the City Engineer reviewed the plans and submitted a memorandum dated May 31, 2022, which outlined conditions that must be resolved prior to work beginning on the site. She advised that the Mayor, City Engineer, and Planner met with the applicant and adjacent neighbors on site to discuss drainage issues. She stated that the drainage flows to a ravine south of the property and that the proposed drainage plan would improve the drainage to the ravine but not eliminate it. She further advised that the drainage plan was sent to the DNR and there were no comments received.

The Planner stated that the applicant also requested approval of a Conditional use permit (CUP) for a walkway to the lake on the adjacent property.  She explained that there is currently a worn path to the lake in the same area that the steps are proposed.  She further advised that the new walkway is located as such to ensure the least amount of tree removal and cause the least amount of disturbance as possible.  The steps would include stepping stones interspersed with gravel and a railing is provided due to the steep slopes.  She pointed out that the walkway is surrounded by boulder outcroppings to help ensure stability of the area. She also noted that the work to be done will occur on a steep slope and the applicant will need to ensure that all work being done creates the minimum disturbance to the slope adjacent to the lake. ‘

Planner Johnson stated that a dock is also proposed to be installed on the lake.  She explained that docks are allowed in the Shoreland Overlay District, however, they must not be permanently affixed to the shore or lake bottom.  She stated that the dock cannot be great than four feet in width or larger than 200 sq. ft. in area and they shall not extend more than 50 ft. from the lake shore.  She noted that the applicant and property owner must first check with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to determine if a dock permit is required.  She stated that if the DNR advises that a permit is required, the dock must meet all requirements of both the City of Sunfish Lake and the DNR.  She noted that the proposed dock is 200 sq. Ft. and would extend 20 ft. into the lake. She further explained that there are parts of the dock that exceed the four-foot width requirement, therefore, the dock size must be amended to meet this requirement.

Staff recommends approval of the Major Site and Building Plan Review for construction of a new home and a Conditional Use Permit for the pool and walkway to the lake, based on the Findings of Fact and subject to the twelve (12) conditions as listed in the Planner’s report dated June 9, 2022.  Planner Johnson noted that most of the conditions are standard with the exception of the Conditions No. 11 and 12 which relate to the reduction of the size of the dock to meet code requirements and checking with the Minnesota DNR to determine if a dock permit is required.  She offered to respond to questions.

Chair Hendrickson asked if the applicant had any questions or wished to add any information.

Jeff Lindgren, Jalin Design, stated he had no questions and that Planner Johnson had done a great job explaining the request.

Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any commented from the public and there was no response. He asked if the Planning Commissioners had any questions.

Commissioner Nelson questioned the fact that the Mayor and Councilmember Bulach had met on-site with the applicant and staff to discuss the drainage issue. She questioned why councilmembers were asked to resolve drainage issues.

Planner Johnson explained that during the last year an applicant proposed to direct drainage across a neighboring property which resulted in some type of dispute between neighbors.  She advised that Mayor O’Leary was concerned about directing drainage across the neighboring property and asked the City Engineer to meet with the applicant and neighbors to discuss the drainage issues on-site. She advised that the drainage currently naturally flows across this property to the ravine on the McFadden property, but since there are drainage changes proposed with this application, the Mayor wanted to make the neighbors aware of this and be advised of what the City Engineer proposed to help mitigate any drainage issues.  She advised that the drainage would still flow to the ravine, however, with the proposed biofiltration basin it would be less than what is now occurring on the property. She commented that an on-site meeting prior to construction was intended to inform property owners in order to eliminate a dispute at a later date. She noted that Mr. McFadden supported the plan.

Commissioner Nelson commented that the McFadden property is currently for sale and they offered support, however, they may be gone before the problems occur.

Chair Hendrickson asked that the grading plan for the site be displayed and asked if the McFadden property was located south of 15 Sunnyside Lane and if the existing ravine takes water to the south of the property. 

Planner Johnson responded yes.

Tim Johnson, a representative of the property owner, explained that a lot of water comes from the eastern neighboring property through culverts than run under the road.  He pointed out that the stormwater impact on the neighboring properties would be no different than prior to when the previous home was demolished.  He explained that the proposed new stormwater management plan would improve the current situation on the property. 

Commissioner Nelson pointed out that support for the plan was offered by a property owner who currently has their property for sale.

Tim Johnson explained that if a property owner on the east side of the road makes adjustments to their property it could also impact this site.  He commented that the engineer had done a good job designing the stormwater management plan and had worked with City staff to minimize the drainage impact going to the lake.

Chair Henrickson stated that it appears there would be no greater impact on the neighboring properties and that the proposal does not change the existing conditions on the property but does improve the drainage.  He noted that he has no concerns since the design does not increase drainage in a substantial way. 

Commissioner Nelson stated that she did not want to see issues arise in a few years.

Chair Hendrickson noted that the report appears to clarify that the drainage impact on adjacent properties would be less than the existing impact. He asked if there were any further comments or questions and hearing no response, closed the public hearing at 7:25 p.m.

Commissioner Nelson asked the Planner if the Landscaping Plan was to be delayed and approved at a separate meeting next month.


Planner Johnson responded no and stated that the Landscape Plan submitted this evening is the plan that was reviewed and approved by the City Forester.

Chair Hendrickson asked if there were any further questions and there was no response.

Chair Hendrickson moved to recommend approval of the Major Site Plan Reviews and Conditional Use Permit for property located at 15 Sunnyside Lane and the adjacent lot to the west of this parcel, Applicant Jeff Lindgren of Dalin Design and Property Owners Howard and Julie Punch, based on the Findings of Fact and subject to the twelve (12) conditions as listed in the Planner’s Report dated June 9, 2022, seconded by Commissioner Nelson and carried. (3-0)

 

Clerk Iago explained that this matter would be heard before Council on July 12, 2022, which is one week later than the regularly scheduled Council meeting due to the July 4th holiday.

OTHER/NEW BUSINESS:  A. DISCUSSION OF RETURN TO IN-PERSON COMMISSION MEETINGS: Commissioner Nelson asked if the City Council had any plans to return to in-person meetings and if it would be appropriate for the Commission to request returning to in-person meetings. She explained that it was great to have on-site meetings prior to the Planning Commission meetings, however, it was difficult for the Planner to have to drive back and forth between the site and her office. She also noted that it most likely increases the costs to the applicants for the additional staff time required.

Chair Hendrickson stated that he spoke to the Mayor approximately 6 to 8 weeks ago and there was a reluctance at that time to return to in-person meetings based on health factors. He indicated that the mayor may have to check with the City Attorney to determine if there are extenuating factors such as the city being required to also be capable of conducting Zoom meetings for persons who are not comfortable with attending in-person meetings.  He stated that he would be comfortable returning to in-person meetings.

Chair Hendrickson offered to contact the Mayor and City Attorney to ask if there are plans to return to in-person meetings and report back to the Commission.

Commissioner Driano agreed that he would be comfortable with returning to in-person meetings. He thanked Planner Johnson for setting up the on-site meeting and for her excellent presentation this evening.

Teresa Lamey, resident, explained that Council had discussed returning to in-person meetings previously and that Councilmembers Bulach and Hovey agreed they would support returning to in-person meetings.

Chair Hendrickson noted that staff members, such as Clerk Iago who had some health issues may have concerns about returning to in-person meetings. 

Clerk Iago stated that if Council determines in-person meetings will return, she would wear a mask.

ADJOURN:  Chair Hendrickson asked if there was any further business and there was no response.

Commissioner Nelson moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:36 p.m., seconded by Chair Hendrickson and carried. (5-0)


Respectfully submitted,



________________________

Catherine Iago, City Clerk

We are a small community proud of our heritage and committed to the preservation of our pristine, rural character. We cherish our privacy, yet know we are part of a thriving Dakota County and the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. With these partnerships in mind, we strive to preserve that unique spirit which is Sunfish Lake, Minnesota.