Our CCX Sports Spotlight this week shines on Wayzata girls basketball standout Mara Braun. The senior is back in the lineup after missing time with a knee injury. The University of Minnesota signee is one of the top players in Minnesota, excelling at both ends of the court.
Stretch, train, assemble your squad! The 38th Annual Chilly Open, the largest most well-known and unusual golf tournament held on a frozen lake, will be here in just a few short days. What started as a small crazy idea on how to have a little fun during the coldest month of the year has evolved into one of Minnesota’s most unique winter events. We are looking forward to hosting 1,800 golfers, in themed Olympic costumes and bar sleds, hitting tennis balls with hockey sticks and tee ball bats. 27 hole sponsors will decorate and host three-9 hole courses. This is a winter festival you won’t want to miss.
Cinema & Skates ($10 | LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE!) – Thursday and Friday, February 10 & 11, 4:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Skate the Lake! Experience Lake Minnetonka’s infinity skating loop – a 45,000 sq. ft on-ice venue. It’s perfect for a date night or a night of family fun! So bundle up, bring your skates (or a lawn chair) and enjoy music or one of the featured films on the big screen while skating Wayzata Bay (Thursday – Cool Runnings & Friday – Frozen). Tickets are required and limited per session. Two Hour Ticket Reservations on sale now until each session sells out. NEW this year – The Fab Tap will be on the ice selling hot cocoa, hot cider, and treats. Admission is $10 per person
Snowga (open to public) – Saturday, February 12, 9:00 a.m.
Namaste on Wayzata Bay … Come Snowga with us! Anyone can do Hot Yoga, but only true Minnesotan’s can say they have done SNOWGA (yoga on the ice) yoga on the ice). First 100 attendees will get a complimentary Crisp & Green beanie, along with free heated agua frescas. Bring your own mat and winter gear and start the day with free yoga flow. Access to the on-ice venue is through Depot Park. Free and Open to the Public.
Golf Tournament (SOLD OUT!) – Saturday, February 12, Tee Times: 10 am, 12 noon & 2 pm. Theme: The Olympics
In true Olympic fashion, the 2022 Golf Tournament broke a record and sold out of all tickets a couple of weeks ago! Golfers will play a round, head to the 19th Hole tent and enjoy live music by ”PowerTap” band on the Edina Realty stage while tasting some of the best chili from over 10 local restaurants competing in the Chili Cookoff Contest. The 2022 celebrity judges include: Stephanie March, Paul Buttenhoff, Cody Matz, Chef Amalia Moreno Damgaard, and Erik Eastman.
Breakfast Buffet & Ice Bar (reservations strongly encouraged)– Friday, February 11, 4 – 10 pm – Saturday, February 12, from 9 am – Close
Stop by 6Smith on your way to and from “The Open”. Be sure to make a reservation for the Chilly Open Brunch Buffet on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For pricing and the menu visit 6Smith.com.
Snowkite Races & Nite Kite (open to public) – Friday, February 11 at 5 pm | Saturday, February 12, 11 am – 2 pm | Sunday February 13, 11 am – 2 pm
Experience a beautiful backdrop of colorful kites flying through the air during the Chilly Open weekend. Or better yet, try it out for FREE! Wind dependent, (minimum 7mph)
Want in?! See WayzataChillyOpen.com for all the details. Follow along @WayzataChillyOpen on Facebook and Instagram for all the up to date details and announcements. This frozen event is sponsored by many local businesses.
Call 952-473-9595 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Potential third time development plans fail
The Wayzata Planning Commission recommended city staff to draft a denial of a proposed redevelopment concept for the TCF headquarters property on Lake Street on Monday.
This is the third time Lakewest Development has come before the commission to present plans for redeveloping the property at 200 E. Lake Street. In 2020, it presented plans to convert the existing TCF Bank into condominiums and construct new residential buildings.
In 2021, it returned to the commission with a plan to demolish the TCF building and construct two new residential buildings.After the previous two denials, the developer took feedback from the commission as well as the public through a neighborhood meeting in January.
The new plan discussed Monday included an underground mechanical parking system, 32 condominiums and retail space. There would also be pocket parks on the property, and 25-foot facade breaks every 150 feet. The development would include two buildings, referred to as east and west buildings or ‘building A’ and ‘building B’.
Approval of the plan would have required a zoning amendment to the existing planned urban development to create a new PUD district, design standards deviations and a shoreland impact plan study.Consultant Eric Zweber said 66-percent of the parking under the east building is beneath groundwater elevation, as well as 17-percent of the west building’s parking.
More than 100 pages of public comments were received, with many of them noting concern over tearing down the TCF building, losing views of the lake, the proximity of the redevelopment near the BNSF railroad tracks and increases in traffic. There was also a petition which received more than 400 signatures from residents and 1100 signatures in total in about a week opposing the development plans.
Curt Fretham, chief manager of Lakewest Development, said his development team has tried to be creative to meet requirements in the city’s design standards and comprehensive plan.
“We did that,” Fretham said of a number of changes his team was asked to make. “You asked us in initial meetings to reduce mass, provide more open space. You asked us in other words to make it smaller. You also asked us to increase density or in other words, make it bigger. We’ve been asked to do a lot of things. And we have been accepting and approving of those asks. All we really want to do is use our property in a reasonable manner.”
The applicant had several consultants discuss the concept further, addressing how the mechanical parking system works, the traffic impact of the new residential and commercial space and the architectural design.
“We’re frankly surprised, given all the consultants they brought tonight, they did not do a railroad study,” said Kendra Lindahl during the public forum. “It’s not that it could happen. It has happened.”
Lindahl referenced a train derailment which struck another site along the railroad corridor, though commissioner Peggy Douglas corrected that it did not happen on the site in question. The south side of the property is marked by the railroad tracks about 25-feet from the proposed building.
Lindahl asked what value this development would bring to the city, which Brad Hoyt echoed. Hoyt is the owner of Ventana Apartments.
“This building is only 35 years old. It’s not even depreciated yet,” he said. “My view is the project is already reasonably developed and should remain in its state.”
Lindsay Bashioum, who previously served on the planning commission, said the commission got it right the first two times it denied development plans.
“There’s no public benefit that isn’t already there,” Bashioum said.
The commission thanked the applicant for coming forward with a new concept for a third time, remarking on some of the things they liked about the new plans. They also said many of their concerns remain.
“This does not depict the charm of a lakeside community,” Douglas said. “I’m worried about the precedent for future development.”
“I think it’s too big to be charming,” Commissioner Jeff Parkhill added.
Commissioner Ken Sorenson motioned to direct staff to draft a denial of application. Commissioner Jennifer Severson seconded and the commission voted unanimously in favor of denial.
The property is listed with Cushman & Wakefield.
The Minnetonka Planning Commission commented on a proposed concept by Eagle Brook Church to develop a new church and parking ramp at the site of the former Hillcrest Rehabilitation building.
Hillcrest Rehabilitation is was located at 15407 and 15409 Wayzata Blvd., with a horseshoe pocket street, Clare Lane/Clare Drive, leading to its public entrance. Eagle Brook Church, which has seven permanent campuses, three mobile campuses and an online service; is proposing a church building which would have a 1,200 seat worship facility, along with a 550-stall, two-level parking ramp. The church would be a one-level structure of about 80,000 square feet. Hillcrest Rehabilitation has a footprint of about 50,000 square feet.
This proposal is in the concept phase and Thursday’s Planning Commission meeting was only the second of at least five meetings it would need to be reviewed through. No application to develop has been formally submitted.
“This is our first pass at how we will fit on this site,” said Stephanie Hauber, expansion director for Eagle Brook Church. “We won’t be doing any infill of the wetlands. We will stay within the appropriate buffer of the wetlands.”
Hauber said the preservation of the existing wetlands and woodlands bordering the property is the reason behind pitching a large parking ramp.
“Typically we do surface parking but on this site we can’t,” she added. “We also want everyone to know successful traffic management is very important to us as a church. If people are concerned with the traffic, they won’t come back.”
This would be Eagle Brook Church’s eighth site build if it comes to fruition.
Commission chair Josh Sewall said more than 70 public comments were received and more than 20 callers were on hold to make comments at the meeting. A large majority of the callers were opposed to the development concept. Many of those comments were directed particularly at the size of the parking ramp and the volume of traffic brought into the neighborhood.
“Estimating 1.5 people for every car and 1,200 people in attendance — they knowingly anticipate 250 cars to overflow from their parking garage,” said Jenny Greffin, a resident of Clare Lane. “I had a conversation with Mark Hennessy, the spokesperson for the Eagle Brook Church expansion team. He personally told us Eagle Brook Church would not relocate anywhere people didn’t want them. Hopefully they honor that.”
Flannery Daley said she was concerned with a lack of communication from Eagle Brook Church to members of the neighborhood, a sentiment echoed by members of the commission.
“I find EBC’s statement that they care about the neighbors and our feedback disingenuous,” she said. “They chose not to attend a meeting the neighbors organized.”
One resident, Sandra Syfko, who is a member of Eagle Brook Church said the traffic and parking will not be what many people are fearing.
“I’ve been to all the campuses. These are gorgeous buildings,” Syfko said. “People need to think about the alternative. My concern is how the property is zoned. It is zoned for commercial use. You could have strip malls. I know you wouldn’t want Wal-Mart. I wouldn’t either.”
City planner Loren Gordon clarified the potential uses of the property according to its zoning district and comprehensive plan. It is zoned for offices, residential and retail use, and can match the comprehensive plan guidelines for institutional use.
The commission agreed a church is a reasonable use for these adjoining properties, but the size of the proposed concept is too much.
“I feel like where we’re at tonight, there are almost two projects: the church and a huge parking ramp nobody likes,” said vice chair Alex Hanson. “The feeling I have is, nobody wants a parking ramp in their backyard and I understand that. If the church came with what I’ll call a more normal-sized parking scale it feels like more people would be comfortable.”
The commission also advised more details should be presented with the concept, including renderings of what the site would look like from the neighbors’ point of view. The concept will be reviewed next by the Minnetonka City Council on Feb. 28.
“I would advise the city council that I do think it’s fair to somehow incorporate the residents of Wayzata, especially because this property butts up against residents of Wayzata,” said Sewall. “We’ve heard about being a good neighbor. As the city of Minnetonka, we need to be good neighbors too to our neighbors in Wayzata.”
The property is listed for sale by Newmark out of Minneapolis.
The Wayzata City Council Appointed Molly MacDonald at last Tuesday night’s Council Meeting. After what staff described as “an expedited but thorough interview process and discussion,” the Council made the appointment unanimously.
10 applicants interviewed for the one open position left by Johanna McCarthy‘s move from Councilwoman to Mayor. McCarthy ran unopposed for Mayor in November of 2020 after Ken Willcox announced he would not seek the position again.
Interviews with the candidates were conducted via Zoom as part of the City’s workshop agenda earlier in the evening.
Other finalists for the position included Jeff Parkhill and Lindsay Bashioum.
“The Wayzata City Council is excited to welcome it’s newest City Council member, Molly MacDonald, after considering a number of exceptionally committed, qualified and passionate members of the community, ” stated Mayor Johanna McCarthy after the appointment.
McCarthy continued, “As a life long member of the community and small business owner, Mrs. MacDonald will bring a fresh perspective and new insights to council deliberations. We look forward to her upcoming swearing in and the many contributions she will make to the council and community.”
City Manager Jeff Dahl also echoed similar comments in a statement, “In their discussions, the City Council highlighted Mrs. MacDonald’s lifelong commitment to the community, understanding of the community’s vision and values, her value of perspective as a small business owner, and her obvious overall passion to make the community even better. Staff and the Council are thrilled to have Mrs. MacDonald as a part of Wayzata’s leadership team!”
MacDonald answered several questions posed by Wayzata.com after the appointment:
WDC: What made you run for the open council seat?
MM: “The support and encouragement from family, friends and my network in the community gave me the confidence to apply for the City Council position. I was and am reminded daily that my core values for Wayzata align with a most engaged public.”
WDC: What stands out to you about growing up here?
MM: “How many of us are still here! Wayzata is idyllic. As I grew and expanded my world that became clear to me.”
WDC: How will growing up here guide your decision making in the future?
MM: “Our values are rooted in our past. My memories of the Wayzata 25 years ago will guide me when making decisions for its future.”
WDC: What is your vision for the future of Wayzata?
MM: “What I’ve learned from living though last year is hindsight truly is 20/20. It’s even more apparent to me that Wayzata needs to progress forward steadily and thoughtfully. I don’t want to see the city make regretful decisions. I hope to be a thoughtful, forward looking councilor with a clear memory of the past. Those two ideals need to work harmoniously. The community speaks about charm. It’s the word most people use when they talk about what they value in Wayzata. Charm is earned and cannot be replicated and manufactured. Charm is authentic and I believe that is what the residents, the business owners and all of our visitors want to see. It’s the core value that I want to represent in the City Council.”
MacDonald will be sworn in at the February 2nd City Council meeting.
The following persons have filed an application seeking appointment for the open City Council seat which was vacated by newly elected Mayor Johanna McCarthy.
- Greg Flannigan
- Adam Eig
- Jeff Parkhill
- Nate Leding
- Lindsay Bashioum
- Terri Fox
- Margaret Runyon
- Daniel Drotning
- Jennifer Severson
- Molly MacDonald
Interviews will be held via Zoom video conferencing from 4:00 – 6:30 pm during a Council Workshop scheduled for January 19th.
Stay tuned to Wayzata.com, your Wayzata City Council news leader.
The Greater Wayzata Community Chamber of Commerce announced that the 2021 Chilly Open has been cancelled.
Below is the statement:
To our amazing Golfers and Community,
The Chilly Open is such an incredible community event and something that has morphed into a must-do event for people here in MN and across the country!
It’s been a rollercoaster of planning and emotions these past couple of months. We were hopeful and started preparing for a modified golf tournament, and had a recent call with the Assistant Attorney General, and heads of the Dept. of Health, Dept. of Labor and several others this past week. In this call we were advised of the new guidelines and requirements we would have to enforce.
This beloved event presents challenges every year as a very unique event. From needing a specific uniform thickness of ice (per Hennepin County Water Patrol), enough snow to identify the course, lack of any pressure ridges that block access to Wayzata Bay and an annual permit approval from both Water Patrol and the City of Wayzata. Add to this – every year’s approval is based on how the previous year’s event was handled according to the rules and permit requirements.
Then we rely on our amazing sponsors like Porsche of Minneapolis, and many others that have returned for over 30 years! With their support we are able to create an incredible experience for the best followers and participants of any golf tournament ever! And of course the epic chili from all our amazing restaurants.
This year we ALL have faced more challenges than we’ve ever seen with Covid-19. Pivot, pirouette, adapt, shift, whatever move you can think of, we’ve tried. As mentioned, in our call with the State of MN, our event was categorized and specific restrictions identified including numbers of people allowed, health screening, social distance, beverage consumption rules, and more.
Because of this, it’s time to rip off the band aid. Please trust, we waited for things to change and explored every possible option to continue the 36 year tradition of golfing on frozen Wayzata Bay. We feel the challenge to enforce all golfers adhering to the restrictions is too large a risk of losing the ability to have Chilly Open next year and the decades to follow. We can’t confidently hold true to our event that bears the name of Chilly Open. We are bummed beyond belief, but we know brighter days are ahead. We look forward to breaking attendance records in a healthy and safe 2022.
Children who are five years old by September 1 are eligible to begin kindergarten.
Wayzata Public Schools offers early kindergarten entrance for children who turn five between September 2 and October 15 and reside in Wayzata Public Schools at the time of application.
Children who demonstrate superior intellectual ability, high levels of academic achievement, and social/emotional development well-advanced for their age may be considered for early kindergarten entrance.
Applications will be accepted through May 1.
District staff will evaluate eligible students from mid-May through June and will make a decision by June 30.
Visit www.wayzataschools.org/district/teaching-learning/gifted-talented to view the early kindergarten entrance criteria and complete the application.
The Wayzata Police Department has taken multiple reports of thefts from vehicles during the past several days.According to investigators, vehicles have been stolen when keys are left inside.Most of the thefts are occurring overnight, according to the police department.Back in November, investigators reported similar crimes.“Very similar in nature – a little more aggressive in that if valuables are in plain view, they are more likely to break a window,” said Police Chief Mike Risvold.The Wayzata Police Department reports that the thefts are taking place in driveways, parking ramps,and underground parking garages.It’s not just Wayzata that’s been hit.“This is occurring in all of western Hennepin County and our police agencies are working together to investigate,” said Risvold.
Wayzata High School athletes have been practicing hard since Jan. 4. That’s when the Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) approved teams to start practicing.
Wayzata Basketball standout Camden Heide. Photo Dan Gustafson.Competition begins Thursday, Jan. 14 as athletes will be required to wear masks.
A group called Let Them Play is challenging the mask mandate.
Here’s a look at this week’s Wayzata High School varsity sports schedule:
Wayzata High School Varsity Sports Schedule (home games in bold)
Thursday Jan. 14
5 p.m. – Wrestling Triangular Wayzata High School
7 p.m. – Girls Hockey vs Buffalo
Friday Jan. 15
All Day – Wrestling Triangular at Shakopee High School
4 p.m. – Boys Swimming & Diving Meet at Hopkins
7 p.m. – Boys Basketball at Saint Michael-Albertville
7 p.m. – Girls Basketball vs. Saint Michael-Albertville
7:30 p.m. – Boys Hockey at Blake
Saturday Jan. 16
Dance Team Meet (Home)