The Wayzata Parks & Trails Board has announced that it’s annual Maple Tree Tapping event will return after a brief pause for the pandemic.
All spots for this event have been filled according to Parks & Trails Board Member Merrily Babcock, although observation spots are still available.
The timing of the event varies dependent largely on the weather–required temperatures need to be below freezing at night and above freezing during the day.
Making maple syrup from sap tapped from maple trees involves several steps:
Identify Maple Trees: Look for sugar, black, or red maple trees, as these are the most commonly used for syrup production. The trees should be at least 10 inches in diameter at chest height.
Tap the Trees: Drill a small hole into the trunk of the maple tree, then insert a spile (a tap) into the hole. Make sure to tap the trees at the right time of year, typically late winter to early spring when the temperatures are above freezing during the day and below freezing at night.
Collect the Sap: Attach a bucket or tubing to the spile to collect the sap as it flows out of the tree. Alternatively, you can use a vacuum pump system to speed up the sap flow.
Boil the Sap: Pour the collected sap into a large pot and heat it over a fire or on a stove. Boil the sap until it reaches a temperature of 219°F, which is when the sap has reduced to the desired consistency.
Filter the Syrup: Strain the boiled sap to remove any impurities or debris. You can use a cheesecloth or filter paper to achieve a clear, amber-colored syrup.
Can the Syrup: Pour the filtered syrup into jars or containers and store it in a cool, dark place. If canned correctly, the syrup can last for several years.
If you are intersted in regisering for an observation spot, visit Wayzata.org to sign up.
Phase 2 of the Panoway on Wayzata Bay project, which includes the construction of the boardwalk and new docks, will come with a much higher price tag than expected based on the latest estimates.
The cost estimates received in December projected a 37-percent increase in costs due to marketchanges. The new estimate for the boardwalk portion of the project is $9.27 million.
The cost estimate for the new docks experienced an even greater increase, though the scope of that part of the project significantly changed with the decision to remove all of the docks for construction.
The estimate increased 170-percent to about $2.08 million.
The council met on Jan. 10 to approve the construction documents for the boardwalk, docks and Section Foreman House.
It voted 4-1 in favor of approving the documents to move the project toward the bidding phase.
Councilor Cathy Iverson voted against approving the documents but clarified on record that she is in support of approving the Section Foreman House documents.
Construction documents are not a final representation of what will be done on the Panoway. Several aspects of construction included alternates for cost saving purposes, such as alternate proposed materials.
For instance, there is an alternate option for the boardwalk railing that could save $230,000 by using galvanized steel rather than stainless steel.
With the construction documents approved, the various aspects of the project will soon go out to bid, starting with a request for proposals for steel and precast material.
This portion will be bid on first to stay ahead of any possible supply chain delays which Scott Jordan, principal of Civitas, said have largely eased.
Construction for the boardwalk and docks are expected to go out for bids in February.
According to the schedule laid out during the council meeting, construction of the boardwalk would begin in early June and be complete by the end of November.
Likewise installation of the docks would take place throughout the summer.
In late August, the Broadway docks would be removed while dock pilings are installed. The docks would then be open for the full 2024 summer season.
In voting against the approval of the documents, Iverson said her reservations stem from not having the funding secured, as well as the overall cost.
“The overall cost of the project is close to $10 million for a boardwalk that is probably less than a half-mile long,” she said. “We have $4 million I know we’re going to secure. I’m comfortable with that. My concern is with the additional funding of another $6 million.”
Iverson noted that several dates on the project’s schedule are fast approaching and she is worried about paying for the funding gaps with a loan paid through tax increment financing.
City Manager Jeff Dahl said though there is always some risk in taking out a loan, it is not a significant risk. He is optimistic that the city will secure more funding from the state.
“Everything is predicated on getting those plans out now,” he said. “This is a great time to solicit bids, get the best price and keep costs down. If it gets delayed, that potentially pushes us out another year.”
During the first meeting of 2023, the City of Wayzata swore in Molly MacDonald and Jeff Parkhill to serve 4 year terms.
MacDonald won re-election after being appointed to Johanna Mouton’s seat when she won the Mayor’s race. Parkhill most recently served as Planning Commission Chair. Jeff Buchanan did not seek re-election.
The Wayzata City Council reviewed legislative priorities with an emphasis on its appetite for a food and beverage, and local option sales tax.
Both items require a resolution by the council, likely to come in January if the council moves forward, before being submitted to the state legislature by Jan. 31.
Deputy City Manager Aurora Yager presented the details of what both taxes could provide to the city in terms of revenue, based on 2019 data. She clarified that the revenue would likely be higher based on several factors including inflation.
Local Option Sales Tax
A half-percent Local Option Sales Tax would generate about $815,000 with more than 77 percent of that revenue coming from non-residents. LOST can only be used to fund capital projects with a limit of five at a time.
The tax cannot be applied to tax exempt purchases such as food and clothing, or to purchases that already carry a special tax such as vehicles and housing.
To adopt this sales tax, it needs legislative approval. The city must detail how the funds would be spent and demonstrate what the capital projects’ economic benefits would be to residents, businesses and visitors.
If approved by the legislature, the council would need to reaffirm the resolution before putting it on the ballot in the form of a referendum. Voters have the opportunity to vote on each capital project individually. The council then passes an ordinance to put the tax into effect.
Once the funding outlined by the city is met it can no longer collect on LOST unless it returns to the legislature.
Yager said the most common rates for LOST are 0.5 percent or 1 percent. While cities may pursue five capital projects at a time, she noted that LOST is often used for one larger project, such as a park or event center. The projects do not need to be imminent or immediate either.
Yager included five capital projects that could benefit from LOST: Klapprich Park improvements, wayfinding park signage, Beach and Shaver park improvements, the Nature Center and the Eastman Ln. trailand boardwalk. Each of these is slated for 2024 or later. The total cost for these projects is about $2.3 million. LOST could fully fund these projects in less than three years.
Food and Beverage Tax
A food and beverage tax would raise less funding but a larger portion of the revenue would come in from non-residents. Based on 2019 data, the tax would raise $357,000 annually with about 90 percent coming from non-residents.
Unlike LOST, a food and beverage tax can be used to pay for operational expenses as well as capital projects.
The city needs to detail the uses and benefits of the tax in its proposal to the state legislature just like with the LOST, but it does not require a referendum approved by voters unless required by the legislature.
“To us this is much more appealing because it is a much more flexible use,” Yager said. “It still tends to be used more for capital projects.”
City Manager Jeff Dahl said business owners he has spoken with understand why the city may want to implement a food and beverage tax.
Councilor Alex Plechash said he would need to be convinced that adopting either tax would result in lowering the tax burden on Wayzata residents, rather than being more money to spend.
“That case would have to be made pretty strongly,” he said.
Mayor Johanna Mouton and councilors Molly MacDonald and Jeff Buchanan agreed that the food and beverage tax is the more appealing option of the two proposed.
Watch for more information and discussion to come forward on this topic. Stay tuned to Wayzata.com, your Wayzata food and beverage tax leader.
Wayzata voters selected incumbent Molly MacDonald and Planning Commission Chair Jeff Parkhill to the Wayzata City Council on Tuesday. The Minnesota Secretary of State’s website posted the following results:
Results from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website.
Council rejects traditional wood dock design, existing Broadway docks may be replaced in Phase II of Panoway
Much debate has occurred in recent months and years as Wayzata residents mourn the loss of charm in the community in favor of increased development and density.
At a Tuesday Workshop meeting on October 25th, the Wayzata City Council directed City Staff to solicit bids which could potentially replace and expand the existing docks on Wayzata’s lakefront with less traditional steel pilings and floating docks.
Wayzata and Lake Minnetonka have long standing histories and cultures of utilizing wood piling fixed docks. This style of dock is viewed by many as aesthetically pleasing–in other words charming.
For those that don’t know, workshops are viewed by municipalities as ways for a Council to discuss lengthy or controversial topics less formally than a City Council meeting.
Critics of the municipal workshop format argue the public isn’t allowed to comment on workshop topics, no votes are taken even though decisions tend to be made prior to public debate, and the meetings are not broadcast/recorded resulting in less transparency and community oversight than a regular council meeting.
The practical result of the decision is that the Broadway Docks in front of CoV and the Panoway Plaza may not exist in the near future, replaced by more modern docks and a higher number of slips over the winter. A final decision will be made at a Council meeting in the coming months.
Several factors impacted the decision, including limits on the depth of wood pilings, maintenance, cost advantages for steel pilings and ADA compliance. The packet acknowledged that steel is “aesthetically less of a fit in Wayzata.“
The City is also beginning to ramp up for construction of the Boardwalk by soliciting bids, reviewing budgets and the like. The full agenda packet is below.
Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more information on Phase II of Panoway of Wayzata Bay. What do you think? Email firstname.lastname@example.org to share your views.
Community Involvement: 3 years coaching director Wayzata traveling Soccer Club, 10 years coaching youth boys soccer, Leading a committee of four, representing the boat slip user of Wayzata lagoon. Spouse PTA president 2 years Wayzata Middle School
Previous Experience: I come from 3 generations of builders, I owned and managed an office building over 40,000 square feet for over 20 years. I understand issues related to owning and developing property.
Why are you running for city council? As a 40 year airline captain following a disciplined and methodical process for short and long term goals, I will bring the same standard and values in planning and development of our city.
What would be your top priorities as a Council Member? City planning is a complicated process. You are balancing wants and needs of the developers and the residents who I feel should come first. You cannot leave the development of our city to chance. The process needs order, balance and symmetry.
Please characterize crime and public safety in Wayzata: Over the last several year, with the increased development of our city and increased number of visitors, the city has experienced higher incidents of theft, vandalism, etc. I am aware of many incidents and concerns of the residents through the Next door and by communicating with many residents.
What measures, if any, would you propose or support to address public safety including both the police & fire departments? Obviously our city needs increased policing especially during the summer month and weekends. I have been working on a coordinated effort between the police and fire department to implement new approaches to increase their visibility without any expense to the tax payers.
How would you prioritize the competing interests from those who seek to develop Wayzata and increase density versus those who want to see Wayzata remain charming and smaller? Most residents agree that the Wayzata Charm no longer exists. The 3.10 Square Miles of Wayzata’s land is almost completely developed. To add new buildings, we must demolish another one. We can still control the level of growth and density with common sense approaches.
What would you say to members of the public who feel their voices are not heard, and how would you stay in touch with the public? I believe that the residents concerns and their input in the development process is an essential part of this process. I will maintain a web site during my term as an avenue to keep residents informed and to hear their concerns and input.
Do you have any examples of a time when you held a dissenting opinion in a professional setting? How did you approach voicing your stance in the face of disagreement? As an airline captain (wide bodied), I went through many Crew Resource Management courses and implemented this information at each flight with three other pilots in the cockpit and with a crew of 12 flight attendants. I understand that every crew member has the right to express their concerns and I have learned to respect other opinions and to value their input when making a decision. Listening is an art.
Community Involvement: I understand the Wayzata way of life. I’ve known it my entire life. I grew up here, I have invested my career here, my family is here. In 2017 I participated in a ‘think tank workshop’. I was 1 of 400 people who participated. I felt heard and I felt valued and it was a turning point in my community involvement. The outcome of those visioning exercises was the 2040 Comprehensive Plan. Since then, I earned a seat on the Wayzata City Council and I look to that document and its guiding principles with every decision I make on the council. My experience on council has only deepened my commitment to serve. I now chair multiple committees, attend neighborhood and community events and I’m an active member of the Wayzata Chamber.
Previous Experience: I am the only candidate with experience on the Wayzata City Council. I’m accessible and engaged and I understand that residents come first. I listen and I am responsive. I am the only candidate with a business in Wayzata. I’m proud of my owner-operated retail store on Lake Street and it’s contribution to downtown Wayzata. I’m the only candidate who grew up in the community. I’m part of a multigenerational Wayzata family. My father in law served three terms on council and three more as mayor and my mother in law was a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly. They encouraged me to get involved and to give back to the community.
Why are you running for city council? Two years ago I was appointed unanimously to the Wayzata City Council and many of you urged me to seek another term as Council Member. There are several important projects in Wayzata at various stages of completion. Such as, Phase 2a and 2b of Panoway on Wayzata Bay, development of the former TCF building site, and the Wayzata Boulevard Corridor Study to name a few. These are projects of great importance to Wayzata’s future and I want to see them to completion to ensure the values and vision of the residents will be considered during such a critical time.
What would be your top priorities as a Council Member? I will keep the city budget in line without sacrificing our city services. I will use policy to support our liquor operations. I can apply my expertise and understanding of retail in Wayzata to our the Muni Operations. I will support efforts to maximize the profits at the Wine & Spirits to offset our tax levy and increase funds for our parks, police and city services. I will continue to fund our police department to keep our roads and parks safe for the residents. I will support our Chief of Police and his short term, mid term and long term action plane to combat noise and safety on our roads. And finally, I will remain responsive to residents which are directly impacted by development proposals and the high growth rate in Wayzata. I will use our guiding principles to keep Wayzata a quiet, friendly and beautiful community.
Please characterize crime and public safety in Wayzata: We had a busy and sometimes noisy summer in downtown, but overall (100% of the 400 people surveyed this year) people feel safe in Wayzata. I aim to keep our roads, our parks, and our neighborhoods safe by supporting the police department.
What measures, if any, would you propose or support to address public safety including both the police & fire departments? There are many tactics I support to combat noise and safety in Wayzata. In the short term, the city can install speed signs and noise ordinance signs, promote “if you see something, say something” messaging, and parking a ‘spare squad’ on Lake St. In the mid term, we can increase our citation fee for noise ordinance, explore broader technology with cameras and noise detection, and explore gates on the upper level of the Mill St ramp. Longer term, I support adding 2 additional sworn officers to our force next year and training more officers for our bike patrol. Additionally, it’s worth considering a broader strategy to diversify revenues in order to fund public safety from visitors such as a sales tax. I will continue to support our Fire Department as we consider a new full time fire chief, considering and planning for long term investments to our fleet, and encouraging new volunteers to join our Volunteer Fire Department.
How would you prioritize the competing interests from those who seek to develop Wayzata and increase density versus those who want to see Wayzata remain charming and smaller? The high growth rate remains a top concern of the residents. I will look at development proposals through the lens of the residents. Development should support their vision and their values. I will adhere to the public process to ensure transparency and encourage community engagement and feedback. My decisions will remain weighted toward the residents when developers deviate from our standards. I will continue to listen, be accessible and come to every meeting prepared and educated on agenda items.
What would you say to members of the public who feel their voices are not heard, and how would you stay in touch with the public? Please continue to voice your opinions and give feedback. I’m listening. My role on council is to represent the entire community and the residents come first, period. I invite members of the community to reach out to me directly, participate in neighborhood meetings/events, sign up for the city wide email list, join a committee or a commission. If you feel you aren’t being heard, let’s change that together. We can find a way to get you involved and be heard.
Do you have any examples of a time when you held a dissenting opinion in a professional setting? How did you approach voicing your stance in the face of disagreement? I was the only council member to vote against a parking variance on Lake Street this Summer. I remained steadfast in my knowledge of Lake Street. I assured the public and my colleagues that I have a front row seat to downtown Wayzata and that my dissenting vote was in the best interest of the community.
Community Involvement: Wayzata Planning Commission – 4 yrs – Currently Chairman Wayzata Zoning Studies Task Force Wayzata Blvd. Corridor Study Task Force Wayzata Community Docks Task Force JDRF Twin Cities Board of Directors – 4 yrs Breck School Board of Trustees – 3 years
Previous Experience: MY BUSINESS BACKGROUND POSITIONS ME STRONGLY TO ADD VALUE QUICKLY IN COUNCIL: • Proven track record on Planning …You know how I have voted for the past 4 years • Former CPA – Fiscal austerity is my specialty…as it relates to our $20 mil city budget & tax levy. I can help! • 37 yrs. of business and real estate experience • High ethical standards and a willingness to embrace the true essence of the Wayzata code of conduct.
Why are you running for city council? TO SERVE MY COMMUNITY…PERIOD! – “Service is the rent we pay for being…..” Marian Wright Edelman. Our lakes and small-town feel are what make Wayzata one of the most wonderful places to live globally…it is a WORLD CLASS CITY and a true GEM. I want to make sure the community gets a VOICE in the future of this remarkable city…. Work with me to keep WAYZATA EXTRAORDINARY! #PROTECTWAYZATA
What would be your top priorities as a Council Member? My priorities: • SMALL TOWN SMALL DEVELOPMENTS – building mass & scale must fit the location and be charming. If not, I VOTE NO! • BALANCE RESIDENT AND BUSINESS INTERESTS: 1. How to handle the additional traffic, noise, & parking complaints? 2. How to pay for maintenance and incremental wear & tear on our community? 3. Our downtown is struggling under the influx of new visitors. • PRIORITIZE LOCAL VOICES: All local property tax payers are my priority.
Please characterize crime and public safety in Wayzata. Crime is on the rise…with a major altercation between an adult and a young man last weekend. Wallets stolen out of purses at CoV. Let’s get this under control before it moves off Lake Street and into the neighborhoods and personal residences.
What measures, if any, would you propose or support to address public safety including both the police & fire departments? I agree with Council’s decision to expand the police force. Regain control of Lake St. by issuing tickets for show-off driving and modified mufflers, Lower the speed limit to 25 on Lake st.. Install license plate readers that trigger a greeting by Wayzata police for those that have caused prior problems. Stronger police presence.
How would you prioritize the competing interests from those who seek to develop Wayzata and increase density versus those who want to see Wayzata remain charming and smaller? I believe my voting record shows that I weight what neighbors and the people most affected by a development or a variance over the specific project. I am not anti-development at all, but I do believe that scale and mass must fit the site and the building must be charming or i vote NO!.
What would you say to members of the public who feel their voices are not heard, and how would you stay in touch with the public? My third priority above is to Prioritize Local Voices. If you are a property tax payer in Wayzata, you are my priority. My email is Jeffparkhillforwayzata@gmail.com and my cell is 612-699-1051
Do you have any examples of a time when you held a dissenting opinion in a professional setting? How did you approach voicing your stance in the face of disagreement? This happens on the Wayzata Planning commission every meeting. I am the Chair and seek out and appreciate opposing views. This helps us all get to the best answer for each issue that comes in front of us. I am a unifying voice and can certainly handle opposing views and stand my ground if i feel strongly another way.
Community Involvement: Serving and connecting to our community is very important to me. Currently, I serve as Vice Chair of the Wayzata Planning Commission, member of the Zoning Study Task Force, the Design Study Task Force, and the Corridor Study Committee. These various roles have help me gain a greater understanding of Wayzata City Government and the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. I am also active in my children’s school. Currently, I serve on The School Committee in their High School and volunteer in other capacities as well.
Previous Experience: Beyond my experience in Wayzata, I have run my own design practice and custom kitchen retail store in London, worked in residential renovation design and development, and have done business strategy and design consultation services internationally and locally. Previous to this, I worked for Andersen Consulting NYC and London offices in Change Management Strategy Consulting. I hold a Bachelors in Business Management & Marketing and a Masters in Architectural Interior Design. These skills have been valuable in my work with the city.
Why are you running for city council? As a Mom of three teenagers, I am focused on keeping Wayzata safe and enjoyable for generations to come. I am here all year long, all the time, and committed to seeing Wayzata thrive in all seasons. We love Wayzata because it is a safe and friendly lakeside community where everyone knows your name. On my daily walks with my dog, I enjoy the intimate feeling of charm that we must strive to protect. Some folks believe this is already lost, but I know we must keep an eye on our vision going forward to define and maintain the Wayzata Way of Life – prioritizing the daily experience of the Wayzata resident.
What would be your top priorities as a Council Member? SAFETY: Support needed resources for our amazing Police & Fire Departments. BUDGETING: Increase transparency and identify creative solutions to maximize tax dollars & manage a balance of seasonal cost drivers. COMMUNITY: Enhance connected walkability, fully utilize Panoway & community amenities. HOUSING: Work creatively to identify strategies for needed affordable housing opportunities. DEVELOPMENT: Mindful sustainable development focusing on our resident’s wants & needs, addressing traffic, noise & parking.
Please characterize crime and public safety in Wayzata. An increase in interest in Wayzata and its picturesque location, as well as broader migration trends, have brought an increase in traffic, congestion, noise and unfortunately crime. All of this impacts our community. We must proactively and iteratively set policy and tone of our environment and shared spaces so our community members are safe as they enjoy the experience of Wayzata daily life.
What measures, if any, would you propose or support to address public safety including both the police & fire departments? I would support an increase in police force numbers to address the influx of visitors we have in Wayzata daily. I would support the institution of a sales tax to provide resources for Police and Fire Departments. I would support foot/bike patrolling police presence in our shared areas at key times. Uniformed officers may also include a volunteer program that adds presence and sets tone; particularly in the Lake Street area and shopping centers. I would look for imminent ways to decrease speed along our roadways both through beautiful visual demarkation of town entrances as well as speed management tools that may or may not be permanent.
How would you prioritize the competing interests from those who seek to develop Wayzata and increase density versus those who want to see Wayzata remain charming and smaller? Lake Minnetonka, a superbly beautiful natural resource, is the foundation of Wayzata’s unique beauty and attraction. We must protect our foundation. Priority should take root formation on protecting our Lake, its views and access. We must never cast a shadow on our gem of a lakeside community and therefore be highly conscientious around height, massing, and density as we change over time. These items directly impact the health of our Lake. We must clarify our vision requirements in our code to ensure it is implemented. We can be proactive in identifying facades, buildings or parks we wish to preserve as established in size or scale today. We must look for creative solutions to add housing we need for all families that does not compromise or overshadow lake life simplicity. We must focus our vision of Wayzata around the daily experience of our resident’s quality of life.
What would you say to members of the public who feel their voices are not heard, and how would you stay in touch with the public? Attending council meetings, reading local news, and watching CCTV are important ways to stay informed. I have launched a feedback button on my website for anyone to comment, connect or add thoughts on how they define the Wayzata Way of Life. This is something that I will continue after I am elected. I am also out in the community daily year round, walking my dog and visiting with friends and neighbors. I am always open for a conversation with residents to hear their thoughts and concerns. I have made it a priority to meet with people from every aspect of our community to hear their perspectives and broaden my own. You will find I am always available and transparent with our residents about any topic.
Do you have any examples of a time when you held a dissenting opinion in a professional setting? How did you approach voicing your stance in the face of disagreement? ‘Approach’ in service work is key. When we address complex topics, it is important to come to the table without assumptions or prescriptive solutions. Dialogue and exchange of ideas without a preconceived ‘answer’ is the best formula to analyze the many facets of an issue and maximize the outcomes of a decision. It’s important to ask questions, seek understanding, pause before reacting, and run scenarios to assess the impact of any one decision upon the greater whole.
Each candidate was given the opportunity to present an opening statement. They highlighted their varied experiences and an overview of their approach to serving on the council.
Hickman described himself as pragmatic, vowing to take a “methodical and balanced,” approach. MacDonald leaned on her upbringing in the community and how she brought a “different perspective” to the council. Parkhill and Stockton, both Planning Commission members, had different overarching issues atop their lists. Parkhill said he prioritizes smaller development. Stockton wants to be proactive on crime, traffic, noise and congestion.
A variety of issues were addressed during the hour-long forum, but one of the most overarching issues was development and the pressures of growth. Each candidate expressed concern over maintaining the charm of a small community. MacDonald and Stockton agreed the voice of residents is important while developing.
Q: How can the city deal with residential and developer pressure while maintaining charm?
Stockton: “What we need to do is look at the experience of the residents. “We can achieve balance from focusing on the user experience.”
MacDonald: “We have a high growth rate here in our city. There’s a public process — I intend to oversee that process and ensure transparency, listen and be accessible. I encourage residents to keep using their voice.”
When asked about the preliminary property tax levy of 10.59-percent, which was recently passed at council, Parkhill said the city must explore new revenue sources. The city’s budget is about $19 million.
Q: What are your thoughts on the preliminary property tax increase of 10.59-percent recommended for Wayzata?
Parkhill: “There’s tremendous pressure on our budget,” he said. “(Revenue) sources we have now are property taxes. Alternatives are the Muni and liquor store, stormwater, the marina and cable. We need to come up with different ideas. I’m not a huge proponent of taxes at all. But there are times we need to cover our costs.”
Hickman: “We are very fortunate we have a triple ‘A’ bond rating and an affluent community. We give our fair share to Hennepin County. We are an outflow city to the balance of this state. It is a privileged place to be in. We could do a little more fundraising for the police department. I wish we could do better and take some burden off the taxpayers.”
In Stockton’s response she references the addition of two police officers as one of the reasons for the proposed increase.
Stockton: “Public safety has become an increasing concern. While we do have a strong ratio of police to residents, there is an increase in activity on our main streets. These are trends we don’t want to set into habit of mind. These activities need to be curtailed.”
Johnson asked the candidates to choose from one of four topics to speak on related to the corridor study: land use and development, transportation, road safety or public realm and streetscapes. All four chose land use and development and all four referenced development near County Road 101.
Q: State your vision for land use and development.
Stockton: “We need to reclaim the 101 and Wayzata Blvd. We’re a small town. We need to connect upper to lower Wayzata through efficient traffic and walkability.”
MacDonald: “Safety is of the utmost importance. We need examine that area and come up with a plan for resident safety. The access entry points there are terrifying. If we come up with a good, solid plan we can go to the county and ask that they address these safety issues prior to their plan which is 2030 I believe.”
Hickman: “That is an important corner coming off Central Ave. into the heart of city as you approach superior,” he said. “That is the last opportunity to make your best impression of the city when entering from that side. This project needs to be developed correctly and smoothly so it’s balanced.”
Q: What do you see as the greatest challenges facing businesses, and what role should the city council have in supporting businesses?
Hickman: “The traffic that is attracted to the city is not really interested in the retail sector and it’s suffering. If we add more and more retail its going to be competing. I’m in favor of a half a percent sales tax because most of the sales tax is going to be paid for by visitors.”
MacDonald: “Parking has been an issue for my business and the businesses I have spoken to. I’d like to refute and state for the record that the Wayzata businesses are thriving. We’re all having record years.”
Q: What measures would you support if any to support affordable housing needs?
Parkhill: “(Accessory dwelling units), we looked at doing those in various districts in the community. That would allow some affordable housing. I think as they build along Wayzata Blvd. there absolutely needs to be some affordable housing requirements.”
Stockton: “Affordable housing in Wayzata is a tough nut to crack because we are a destination location and values are very high. As we develop the upper part of Wayzata along Colonial Sq. and Wayzata Blvd. and the 101, over time these are areas we can do that. Ask developers to portion off part of their development to suit this need.”
Q: What is your view on a permit process for short-term rentals?
MacDonald: “We need to wait for it to become an issue. We shouldn’t be in the business of solving problems that aren’t an issue yet.”
Hickman: “I spend time in Scottsdale, Ariz. during the winter. Thirty-percent of the properties in Scottsdale are short-term rentals. They’re not owner occupied. I don’t think we want a community like that. Your community is built on people with a soul.”
Q: Wayzata is considering installing rooftop solar panels on city buildings. What additionalenvironmental actions should Wayzata consider?
Parkhill: “We approved one solar energy variance last year. It’s kind of in a trial phase. We didn’t think it was going to look that nice. They’re coming out with really good ones though that can be hidden. The best thing we can do is continue to wait until these solar panels are aesthetically pleasing at least for places that are noticable. Solar is the wave of the future.”
Hickman: “I’ve had solar panels — 34 of them — for five years. I live in a 6,000 square-foot house and my electric bill averages $12 a month. It’s time we started considering this. They’re very efficient. They’re getting more inexpensive daily.”
Q: What steps would you take towards advancing racial diversity and equity in the city government and community?
Hickman: “You have to teach diversity very young and teach acceptance because I tell you what, 40-percent of the population of Minnesota will be people of color in 40 years. We better get prepared and we better get used to it.”
MacDonald: “I think the Panoway has helped with this situation quite a bit. It has offered people accessibility to the lake. I feel connected to the community. It’s the most diversity I’ve seen in my entire life in Wayzata.”
In closing statements, the themes of working together, calculated approaches to growth and balancing the needs of residents and developers were central to each candidate.
MacDonald touted her life-long residency in Wayzata having grown up in the community and started a business here. She spoke to considering the past when preparing for the future.
“I live in a 100-year-old house. I drive a 60-year-old car,” she said. “I appreciate the past and am excited for the future. Wayzata has an authentic legacy that comes from multi-generational families like mine. Authenticity comes from loving where you live. I’m running to manage thoughtfully the high growth rate, maintain city services to our high standards and prioritize public safety on roads and in parks.”
Parkhill said he aims to steer away from hot-button talking points and work together with the rest of the council. Stockton also spoke of collaboration, saying her skills as a consultant have prepared her for the role. Hickman said he wants to see the $19 million city budget pared down and have the 2040 comprehensive plan reviewed regularly.
Voting for the two city council seats will take place on Nov. 8. Polls are open 7 a.m. – 8 p.m. at City Hall. Absentee voting for the State General Election began on Friday.
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