Summergate, Ground mounted solar and Salary increases – Minnetrista 11/9/20

Summergate Housing Development: For the Minnetrista council to consider the concept plan for the Summergate housing development, proposed for North of County Road 110W and West of Saunders Lake, first it had to decide whether or not to amend the city’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan which has those parcels zoned as Urban Reserve (guided for future residential development). Part of the amendment process would be to rezone and extend utilities to the area. The Metropolitan Urban Service Area (MUSA line) abuts the SE corner of the area.

Several residents of the South Saunders neighborhood to the East of the proposed development expressed concerns about increased traffic, safety and demands on the city’s water and sewer infrastructure as well as the housing density in the current concept plan.

Amending the comprehensive plan would have indicated the council’s openness to rezoning and extending utilities and would give the developer an opportunity to submit a revised plan addressing all the concerns.

To amend the city’s comprehensive plan requires a super majority of 4 (out of 5) votes. The council did not vote on the matter as it became clear 3 of the 5 members were opposed to it. The audio of the discussion is available here and starts at about 10:21.

Ground mounted solar on Ag Preserve: There were two items on the council’s agenda regarding ground mounted solar on Ag Preserve properties Monday night. One was to deny the site plan submitted for the solar farm on the parcel located on the NE corner of Highland Road West and CR92 and the other was to impose a moratorium on ground mounted solar energy systems on Ag Preserve parcels.

The council went into a closed session prior to the council meeting regarding possible litigation related to these items.

At the council meeting the resolution to deny the site plan was postponed to the council’s December 7 meeting. The resolution authorizing a moratorium on ground mounted solar energy systems on Ag Preserve parcels was passed and the city will conduct a study for the purpose of determining whether and how to amend the 2015 zoning ordinance that made these systems a “permitted use” on Ag Preserve parcels.

9% wage increase over 3 years for Public Works: Minnetrista’s Public Works employees will receive a 9% wage increase spread out over the next 3 years. The council passed a resolution authorizing the labor agreement on a 4-0 vote with Bruce absent (I had dropped off the council meeting due to illness at approximately 9pm). My one vote wouldn’t have made a difference and I was too miserable to argue about union negotiations that exclude council members and are conducted solely by the city administrator.

Tonight’s council meeting – Listen live

Minnetrista’s city council will be reviewing the concept plan for the “Summergate” housing development proposed for North of County Road 110W and West of Saunders Lake along with a number of other agenda items readers can review in the November 9, 2020 council packet.

There will also be discussion on a resolution to authorize a study of ground mounted solar energy systems as they relate to Ag Preserve zoned properties (Ord. 461). The agenda lists it as simply imposing a moratorium on ground mounted systems but the resolution calls for a study, not just a moratorium, to evaluate whether and how to amend the 2015 ordinance that made them a “permitted use” on Ag Preserve parcels.

To listen live to the Minnetrista City Council meeting at 7pm tonight, November 9: call +1 (312) 757-3121 and enter meeting Access Code 498-912-997 #, or join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone by accessing the following: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/498912997
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To listen live to the Minnetrista Work Session meeting at 5:30pm tonight, call +1 (646) 749-3112 and enter meeting Access Code 138-217-013 #, or join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone by accessing the following: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/138217013
New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting
starts: https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/138217013

Work Session packet for November 9 includes a discussion of the Park Dedication and Tree funds as well as a Recycling Fund budget discussion.