Planning & Zoning - February 2, 2017

February 2, 2017


February 2, 2017

Pursuant to due call and notice thereof, a regular meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the City of Saint Peter was conducted in the Governors' Room of the Community Center on February 2, 2017.  A quorum present, Chairperson Andy Davis called the meeting to order at 5:31 p.m.  The following Commissioners were present:  Davis, Joe Urban, Ken Rossow, Scott Fichtner, and John Kvamme.  Commission member Jeff Brand was absent. City staff present were Community Development Director Russ Wille and Administrative Secretary Cindy Moulton. 

Approval of Agenda – A motion was made by Rossow, seconded by Kvamme, to approve the agenda with the addition of Oath of Office.  With all in favor, the agenda was approved as amended.

Approval of Minutes – A motion was made by Urban, seconded by Rossow, to approve the minutes of the January 5, 2017 regular Planning and Zoning meeting.  With all voting aye, the minutes were approved as presented.

Oath Of Office - The Oath of Office was administered to new member Scott Fichtner.

Public Hearing – Variance Front Yard Setback –Michael Keller (441 Skaro)

Wille stated that Michael Keller, 441 West Skaro, would like to construct a detached garage on his property.  Keller is asking for a Variance to allow him to reduce the required setbacks from 20’ to 5’. 

Wille explained that the ordinance allows for construction of a detached garage within 6 feet of the alley right-of-way and 6 feet from the western property.  Because Keller’s property is located on a corner lot, a “front yard” of at least 20’ must be established from the right-of-way of both Skaro and Fair Street.

The existing drainage of the property and neighborhood poses a problem in that it is not appropriately designed to manage storm water run-off during heavy rainfalls.  Given the elevation of the lot, Wille said that the construction of a detached garage would not be possible to stay within the parameters of the ordinance.

Wille indicated that he consulted with Public Works Director Peter Moulton.  Moulton said that granting a variance to allow for construction of the garage within 5 feet of the Fair Street right-of-way would allow for the proper drainage and storm water management within the neighborhood.

Wille stated that according to Minnesota Statutes 462.357 Subd. 6, Keller’s request meets all of the criteria. Wille recommended approval.

Davis opened the public hearing at 5:36 pm.

Ken Eichman, 438 Swift Street, stated he was in favor of Keller’s request.

Dan Honetschlager, 429 Skaro Street, felt the construction of the garage would enhance the appearance of the neighborhood.

David Fienen, 517 Fair Street, said he was in favor of the project.

Davis closed the public hearing at 5:39 pm.

A motion was made by Rossow, seconded by Urban to introduce Resolution No. 2017-02 entitled, “Resolution Recommending The Approval Of A Variance Application Submitted By Michael Keller (441 West Skaro Street) To Allow For the Construction Of A Detached Garage Within 5 Feet Of The Fair Street Right-Of-Way”.  All members voting aye, the resolution was passed and adopted.

Northern Con-Agg (Outlot A, Hallett Pond Add.) Rezoning

Northern Con-Agg, LLP has submitted a petition to rezone Outlot A in Hallett’s Pond Addition.  They have come to the conclusion that Outlot A is not ideal for future commercial development given its lack of visibility and single point of vehicular access.  After consultation with commercial realtors familiar with this property, Northern Con-Agg has determined that Outlot A can be appropriately marketed and developed for multi-family residential development purposes.

Wille reviewed the history of the property.  He indicated that the property was initially zoned Heavy Industrial.  In 2008, when the Zoning Ordinance was revised and adopted, the property was rezoned to (C-4) Highway Service Commercial.  He indicated that the (GO) Gateway Overlay district was established subsequent to the 2008 rezoning.

Wille stated that the Comprehensive Plan does not directly support or oppose a petitioned rezoning.  Wille said that the Comprehensive Plan could be considered to be “silent” on the matter.  Wille indicated that the rezoning should be reviewed in relation to the suitability of the subject parcel for the use intended upon the rezoned parcel.

Wille reported that It has been determined that the existing water, wastewater, storm water drainage and electrical service are sufficient to serve the property should it be developed as residential or commercial.  He also added there should be no significant traffic congestion if a multi-family development is constructed as the property would be accessed from North Third Street.

The need for multi-family housing is limited in St. Peter.  Wille stated that Saint Peter has an unhealthy multi-family market.  He said that a healthy market is a 4% vacancy rate and Saint Peter’s is below 1%.

Should the property be rezoned, a preliminary and final plat are required. 

Kvamme was concerned with the property being rezoned and the parcel remaining vacant.   Wille stated that a Purchase Agreement wouldn’t be signed until the property is rezoned.

Rossow asked what the acreage of the property was and also if it was possible to trade other land for commercial development.

Wille stated the property was 4.6 acres.  He also added that if the property were to be traded, a rezoning request would be required.

Rossow expressed his concern regarding the lack of commercial property.

Urban asked if there was any interest in commercial development in the area.

Kvamme said he had his reservations.

Davis wondered how valuable commercial property was since businesses have closed along Highway 169.

Discussion was held whether to provide a recommendation to the City Council or not.

Rossow didn’t feel that the Planning and Zoning Commission was doing their job if they did not make a recommendation to the City Council.

Kvamme felt that this review is beyond Planning and Zoning as the Commission does not have the expertise in economic development.

Rossow stated that zoning is the “driver” of property use. 

Discussion was held and the majority of the members agreed the matter should be sent to the City Council for their consideration in the absence of approval or denial from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

A motion was made by Kvamme, seconded by Urban to introduce Resolution No. 2017-02, entitled “Resolution Recommending The City Council Consider An Amendment to Saint Peter Code Chapter 24 By Rezoning Outlot A, Hallett Pond Addition From (C-4) Highway Service Commercial to (R-3) Multi-Family Residential District In The Absence Of A Recommendation Of Approval Or Denial From The Planning and Zoning Commission”.  Members Kvamme, Davis, Fichtner and Urban voting aye, Member Rossow voting nay, the Resolution was passed and adopted.


Drummer (Welco West Replatting) – Drummer’s re-platting request has not gone to the City Council for approval to date.


There being no further business, a motion was made by Rossow, seconded by Urban, to adjourn.  With all in favor, the motion carried and the meeting adjourned at 6:32 p.m.