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January 27, 2023

1/20/2023 3:31:00 PM
Katie's Glen gets split Wyoming Council vote; water fees upped

With the duty of swearing-in re-elected members Claire Luger and Dennis Schilling taken care of;  the Wyoming City Council this month proceeded to unenthusiastically vote to approve a new small lot housing plat.  Several neighboring property owners had stated their opposition to the 39-lots proposed on open land east and south from Goodview Park, that will result in losing hundreds of trees.  They asked the city to downsize the number, and to retain woodlot that serves as buffer. A citizen also said soils should be investigated for hazardous waste from the site’s former use as a hog farm.

Council had concerns they too had wanted addressed, and the development was tabled from an earlier meeting (Story Press January 5.)

Wyoming Mayor Lisa Iverson said she was casting her yes vote on the Katie’s Glen preliminary plat “with a heavy heart.” She hopes that the city begins to address some shortcomings in the development code that don’t seem to line-up with policy, as soon as possible.  Iverson asked for “significant woodland” status be attached to the site to encourage more tree preservation, which is a development consideration spelled out in the city Comp Plan.

Building official Fred Weck cautioned that ordinances also allow for tree removal, that can be mitgated with plantings to meet the city tree plan.  Weck said two city street connections need to be accomplished in this plat and this requires clearing some areas.

City Attorney Tom Loonan advised the council that it has to apply existing law to the facts, adding the council is not “making law” as it goes.  

Public dissent is not sufficient to deny an otherwise compliant project, he stated.

Council member Schilling explained that code now lets the property be used as developer Pohuda Enterprises is proposing.  Schilling noted, Wyoming will continue to grow and development will keep coming and in this case nothing can support denying the applications.

The approval from council for the Katie’s Glen project still requires wetland technical analysis and the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District’s review.

Council members Ohnstad and Nanko-Yeager voted no on the conditional use permit for the Planned Unit Development master plan.  

Ohnstad felt the R-3 zoning (adopted years ago) was not consistent with the R-1 area surrounding the parcel. Nanko Yeager questioned the benefit of adopting the PUD with designated collective open space versus having that space within individual lots,  and she felt the development could devalue nearby properties.

 In other matters:
~ Council acted on fees for 2023, creating a new $200 charge to handle a dangerous dog designation.

~ Food Truck fees were added, amounts vary on daily, monthly or weekly operations.

~ Voted 4-1 with Nanko Yeager opposed, to rezone a few acre site on the northwest side of Heims Lake to “Office & Health Care.”  The rezoning allows for multi-family use, which building official Fred Weck said Brian Solsrud, the applicant, expressed interest in pursuing.  Access is from 257th only, Weck added.

~ Water charges were increased. The base residential went to $41.72 from about $39. The charge per 1000 gallons usage was adjusted.  Both commercial and residential meter install costs are increased.

The stormwater fee is $75 per acre for commercial parcels and residential is $9.36 per unit.

Actions on utilities are based on the rate study, done every five years, council was told.

~ Skating rink attendant pay was increased to $15 to $17 hourly depending on qualifications.  The city has an opening now, call city hall.

~ The lock-out $10 fee was eliminated because police were not collecting it anyway.

~ The charitable gambling contribution percentage remitted to the city,  stays at 10 percent.

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