5/18/2017 1:24:00 PM North Branch Council in brief...
The North Branch City Council held a very brief meeting May 9, minus member Kathy Blomquist.
The main item was unanimously adopting an ordinance for one-acre lots in the city 20 year growth area. There had been a moratorium on new development in place in 2017, until this item could be addressed, which expired in mid-April and was temporarily extended awaiting this action.
After public hearings and fact-finding by the planning department, staff sent the council a recommendation to adopt the one acre standard.
On the matter of North Branch’s planning commission--the duties are still being handled by the city council, while a new structure is put together for the planning commission.
Activities of the commission were halted at the start of 2017 and duties given to council, while the format and structure for a new “planning agency” get finalized. There is a public hearing on this new structure Tuesday, June 13, in council chambers.
This same evening the council set a public hearing for a nuisance ordinance revision and clarification.
The city proposes to review and adopt wording having the effect of restricting noise from construction activity, garbage collections, etc. to no earlier than 7 a.m. and no later than 10 p.m.
A request from staff to be allowed to have at least two interns work in city hall was approved 4-0.
The interns will be pursuing or will be recent graduates of zoning and building code courses, and will also be looking for local government experience as they’ll be working on miscellaneous administrative tasks. City Administrator Renae Fry said there’s a ton of “archival” work to finish, and having someone trained in the building trades will provide someone to help people with the growing number of plans being submitted for simpler projects like decks, etc.