Wayzata City Council Recap – Oct. 7, 2008

The following is a recap of the Wayzata City Council Meeting.

1. ROLL CALL – Mayor Andrew Humphrey, Councilman Ken Willcox, Councilwoman Bader and Councilman Amdal present. Councilwoman Bangert was not present.
2. PUBLIC FORUM – 15 Minutes (3 min/person)

Becca Lundberg of 119 Benton Avenue asked for clarification on a notice in the Lakeshore Weekly News about an Environmental Intent Request with release of funds. She asked for clarification as to what that was. Mayor Humphrey did not know what that was. Al Orsen, City Manager wondered aloud if that notice was from an Housing Director of IOCP application for community developments that are available from Hennepin County. Lundberg indicated it was two separate actions to be taken by the City of Wayzata and Hennepin County, and wondered if it was instigated by the City. Orson answered no, and indicated he would research the issue. He again suggested it was IOCP looking for community block funds from Hennepin County. She also indicated that the City and County were not going to prepare an environment impact statement.

Ron Anderson of 663 Bushaway claimed to representing the Bushaway Neighborhood. He indicated Bushaway wanted to announce that this year, as of this month, we are celebrating 150th anniversary of Bushaway Road. He indicated it was the sesquicentennial for the road, as well as the 150th year for the State of Minnesota. He indicated they discovered, as part of the history that there was a map stored in the archives of Hennepin County that showed that as of exactly this month, 150 years ago, the road from Shakopee to Dayton was officially surveyed, six months after statehood. And that road eventually became known as Highway 101 and the section in Wayzata between Wayzata Boulevard and Gray’s Bay Bridge is called Bushaway Road. Residents of Bushaway and a few friends on LaSalle have been meeting as neighbors even since they had learned of possible reconstruction of Bushaway. In response to that they decided to investigate and discovered the rich history in terms of the road, area, and houses. He indicated the neighborhood has engaged a historian and will be issuing a report soon. They are planning a celebration party on October 23rd at 6:30 pm at 555 Bushaway Road and Councilmen Ken Willcox has agreed to cut the cake. Anderson said the group was looking forward to Ken’s responsibility in this regard. Anderson continued and indicated they had developed a logo with a picture of the road that people can see in signs between now and the end of the year when the celebration is over.

Mary Bader interjected that the people who were in attendance for the Unitarian Church Proposal needed to be made aware that it had been postponed to a future meeting.


Septermber 11th was a short meeting according to Mayor Humphrey. The Council had received draft minutes, and some revised minutes. Mayor Humphrey indicated he made some changes to those minutes. A red line comment had been made as was acceptable.

A motion to approve the Minutes from September 11th & 16 was made by Jack Amdal, and seconded by Ken Willcox. There was no further discussion. Passed unanimously.


4a. Administrative Hearing on 1321 LaSalle Street – Bill Smith and presented by Beth Bartz a consultant with SRF who acts as the city planner as the full time city planner was on a honeymoon.

Beth summarized the issues: The matter was before the Council at the request of City Manager Orson. Staff has requested an administrative hearing before the City Council to discuss and receive Council direction on a number of issues for William Smith’s permit application for a new residence at 1321 LaSalle. Bartz continued that there were three issues before the Council.

  1. The use of aluminum siding as an exterior facade material. Smith original indicated asphalt shingles as the preference for exterior construction, but was not allowed per the city code. He then revised the application to use metal shingles and an example was on hand. The code does not allow galvanized or unfinished aluminum buildings, except those that are designed to corrosive design finish. The City Manager, acting as the building administrator denied the siding, and Mr. Smith has appealed the decision to the City Council.
  2. Two principle building on one lot while one residence is being constructed, the applicant intends to live in the existing structure and agreed to remove the existing building within 60 days after a certificate of occupancy has been approved for the new structure. This is not typically allowed, and that has been appealed to the City Council acting as the Board of Zoning Appeals.
  3. Staff has become concerned that a planting area in the front yard has become larger than just a hobby garden, and is a vineyard planting. The City of Wayzata does not have an agricultural district, nor is agricultural use defined in the zoning ordinance. Staff is looking for guidance this extent of planting is acceptable in a residential district.

Images were presented to the Council. The lot was similar to other lots in the neighborhood, and some lots were smaller. An aerial shot was presented showing the primary building as well as a shed on the property. The aerial was taken prior to the planting of the vineyard.

That concluded the staff report.
City Attorney Meller indicated the Council should first deal with the siding issue, momentarily. He proposed consideration of a compromise on the principal use, and wants to discuss a study on the vineyard.

Meller said on the principal use, assuming it’s in the best interests of the neighborhood and the property owner, to be able to live in the house. One way to have them occupy one house and build another is to apply for a variance. That can be cumbersome and would be limited to 3-6 months.
Meller continued: once the new structure is built and being lived in, they are in violation. The compromise suggested by Smith’s attorney is to tear the old house down within 60 days after certificate of occupancy being issued on the new house. Additionally, they would remove the shed and then be willing to post some security to assure the City it would be torn down, and if not the City could do so on it’s own and assess the cost of demolition back to the property. Otherwise a hearing could be had, it could be denied, or the applicant could come back for a variance.

There was one instance of this happening previously. Humphey and Meller discussed the procedures at length.
Humphrey asked for questions from the Council for Meller on the 2 principal dwellings issue. Amdal asked why the Council should be making this decision. Orson indicate their were a number of issues, a wind turbine, etc. and staff wanted to have all the issues dealt with all at once.
Other questions. Mary Bader said it sounds reasonable, and that it should be dispensed with quickly, and suggested re-using the house as it one of the oldest in Wayzata.
Amdal suggested handling the Board of Appeals.
Bob Meller suggested allowing the agricultural use be postponed and study the matter. Rather than deny, have the Planning Commission or the Council study it as people want to have limited agricultural use due to organics and economics.
Public input seems to be warranted according to Meller. Humphrey suggested that the Council move to sit as the Board of Zoning of Appeals and the City Council, receive testimony, and take public comment.
Amdal moved, Bader second. Motion approved.
Ms. Tamara Deam, Bill Smith’s attorney addressed the three issues. Most of the info had already been submitted. She commented on two principal structures. The request was made August 27th, and time is of the essence. She suggested that once a certificate of occupancy is issued for the new building, the old building certificate could be revoked. It has been allowed for other residents, and Smith would like to be treated the same.
For the shingles with regard to the shingles, Architect Bill Costello gave a presentation on the property. It’s a two acre site, and has great views of a wetland that occupies about an acre. The proposed design is contemporary interpretation of the Minnesota farm house, using simple materials, and simple geometry. He also used the Chinese concept of ying yang.
Wanted to use the same material for roofing and siding to communicate a simple. Architecture at it’s simplest. He compared it to the Minnetonka Center for the Arts, Streeter home in Deephaven, 461 Gale House, and the Blake School.

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Bob Meller suggested that the material submitted does not meet the code.
Mary Bader asked why the black panel on the exterior for walls. Minimalist, sustainable, and wanting the same materials for the roof and the walls. She also indicated that it did not seem to blend into the neighborhood.
Mary Deam indicated that their are other gardens the size of the vineyard in Wayzata, and that Orson had inspected the property in 2007 and indicated that there were no violations. Subsequently Smith continued his vineyard activities.
Public comment
Bob Janes – 1361 LaSalle Street stated that the proposal was inconsistent with the character of the neighborhood and detriment to the neighborhood. He also indicated that a 1 acre vineyard can generate 4,000 bottles of wine per year. He also asked the City look into allowed use of windmills.
Lynn Gruber – 1417 LaSalle two house east of the applicant. Many of the neighbors received a letter from him indicating he was interested in buying the property. She was also surprised that the vineyard was allowed to grow. She is not in favor of the materials and the design.
Chris Evers – 243 Bushaway Road. It’s a great design, but doesn’t belong in the neighborhood. He also opposed the vineyard and doesn’t believe that it should be there.
Humphrey followed the City attorney’s recommendation to allow two principals with an agreement subject to the old one being torn down. He indicated that the placement on the lot was within the set back requirement. Bader motioned, Amdal second. Passed unanimously.
With regard to the aluminum siding/roofing material, Humphrey indicated that the design was not in question. The Council is authorized to discuss the shingles / aluminum siding. Amdal indicated that ceder shingles are used on roofs and siding, and believed that material complied. Willcox asked if the net effect a negative on the community, and the design of the community. Humphrey then indicated that gives the Council broad authority with regard to approval of the permit.
Amdal indicated that the code does not allow it as the property values will not go down with the use of aluminum siding. Meller concluded. Bader asked how do we determing. Willcox indicated that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and it is tough to define what is right and what’s wrong. On the other hand he said looking at the property as a whole, it does not fit with the neighborhood.
Mary Bader indicated that the design belonged on a wide open space, and not on LaSalle.
Humphrey suggested consulting
Mary Deam suggested that the proceedings were unfair and that the applicant has been harmed. Humphrey asked how. Deam indicated that the City should not discuss the overall design, rather than what the original discussion was: the siding materials.
Humphrey indicated that there were many facets of this home that were new and appreciated the frustration of the home owner. Bob Muller suggested renoticing the meeting. Humphrey wanted the City Assesor to weigh in.
Amdal expressed concern that this would allow every neighboring property owner to object based on design.
Humphrey indicated that this was a challenging avenue for the Council.
Mary Bader talked about St. Paul’s Summit Avenue and restrictions the City enforces on new construction. She indicated that a neighborhood could be ruined by a home such as this.
Ken Willcox indicated that this is viable turf for the Council, and that subjective discussions of what design are could be used against the City and property owners who would like to build.
Bob Muller offered to look at the State law.
Motion to continue the Board of Zoning Appeals for consideration of Smith’s application and appeal of siding and design by Willcox, second by Bader. Passed 3-1, Amdal no.
Motion to dismiss Board of Zoning appeals voted unanimously.
Stay proceedings to enforce zoning on the vineyard, and ask the Planning Commision to permit agricultural use and if so, how to define it. Motioned by Amdal, Second Bader. Discussion: Amdal indicated that Victory Gardens may pop up based on the climate in America today. Unanimously approved.
4b. Consider rezoning & Comp Plan Amendment 2030 Wayzata Blvd. (Unitarian Church) – Mayor Humphrey indicated that the City had received a request that the matter be table for another date. Jack Amdal made a motion to table, Mary Bader made a second. Motion passed unanimously.
4c. Consider and approve Municipal Licenses – Orson indicated Staff recommends. Amdal motioned, Bader second. No discussion, unanimously approved.

Alan Orson indcated the Council could not have a closed meeting tonight without prior notice being issued. It is about the acquisition of the Gas Station by the Bay Station. Scheduled for Saturday, October the 11th, at 7:00 am in the conference room at Wayzata City Hall.

He also indicated the bid opening on the water treatment plany, and there are a number of adds and deletes on the Cell Tower Enclosure, and the Council planned on meeting before the Council Meeting on the 21st, but will wait for Al Orson to get back with the Council

He also commented that at the moment that Bond Issues over $10 million were having issues in the current market. Any bond issue, under $10, with Wayzata’s ratings should be no problem.

6. PUBLIC FORUM (As Necessary)


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