City to study new THC law for up to a year, manufacturing and sales prohibited
The Wayzata City Council declared an emergency moratorium on the manufacturing, distribution and sale of edible cannabinoid products containing hemp.
The moratorium immediately prohibits anyone from selling or manufacturing edibles in Wayzata. The council approved the emergency declaration, and subsequent ordinance with a four-fifths vote in favor on Wednesday. Councilor Alex Plechash was not in attendance for the meeting.
The discussion over what to do about edible cannabinoid products comes after the Minnesota Legislature enacted a new law allowing certain edible and beverage products containing THC to be sold. The decision came during the legislative session in May. The law came into effect officially on July 1.
“Regardless of how this all came to be, little information was provided to cities to determine the level of regulation if needed,” said Jeff Dahl, City Manager. “We think, similar to alcohol and tobacco, there certainly could be impacts to our community with licensing, zoning and general public safety.”
Dahl expects the legislature to come forward with regulations at some point, which he said is often what happens.
The moratorium is effective for one year, or until it is ended through a vote by the city council. During this time, the city is required to study the issue and take action.
If someone is in violation of the moratorium they will face penalties similar to violating a zoning ordinance, according to Dahl. He also stated the moratorium has no impact on people who are prescribed medical marijuana. It is specifically targeted at edible cannabinoid products containing hemp.
“Swear to God I didn’t know what cannabinoid oil was before this,” Dahl said. “It’s essentially a mind altering substance.”
Mayor Johanna Mouton asked if the moratorium would immediately stop someone who has already started selling products. Dahl said it would.
If the state were to come forward with regulations before the end of the moratorium, the moratorium would remain in effect. The city would have the option to end the moratorium and adopt the state regulations if it chooses.
Incumbent City Councilwoman Molly MacDonald and Planning Commission Chair Jeff Parkhill have filed so far
The race for Wayzata City Council is underway as the filing window from August 2nd through August 16th is now open.
Wayzata City Council member Molly MacDonald has filed to enter the race.
MacDonald was previously appointed to a vacant seat by the Council when then Councilwoman Johanna Mouton was elected Mayor in the 2020 election and began serving her term in 2021.
Image courtesy City of Wayzata.
Councilman Jeff Buchanan’s 4 year term also expires at the end of the year.
Buchanan did not immediately return a message inquiring as to whether or not he intends to run again. He previously served as the Chair of the Planning Commission and was elected in the 2018 election.
Image courtesy City of Wayzata.
Planning Commissioner Jeff Parkhill has filed to run for Wayzata City Council. He currently serves as the Chair.
Parkhill was a finalist for Mouton’s vacant seat appointment in 2020.
Interested parties may pick up an application at Wayzata City Hall during business hours. The filing fee is $5, and candidates must be 21 years of age or older and be a Wayzata resident for 30 days prior to the Nov. 8th election.
*Filing information current as of the end of the business day on 08/2/2022.
Mithun Enterprises, the owner of the site at 900 Wayzata Blvd E., sought breaking the property up into three parcels with a mixed use. The property is currently a Wells Fargo Bank location. The project is called Wayzata Gateway.
“This project is not something we have taken lightly, said Matt Mithun, Owner of Mithun Enterprises. “We had a very good tenant with Wells Fargo over the years. Now it’s time for a refresh.”
The proposal is to create a subdivision and rezone two of the parcels to support a bank and residential use. The parcel to the north would be a one-story, 5,500-square-foot bank with an entrance at its northwest corner. There would be a drive through serving the bank to its rear and 15 surface level parking spaces.
Along with a rezoning and conditional use permit request for the drive through, the bank would require a design deviation as it would not have enough window space on its east side. This is due to the bank vault being located on this side.
The parcel to the east would be a two-story, 34,944-square-foot office building. It would include 44 underground parking spaces, terraces for employees and a park. Requests for this parcel included setback variances and a conditional use permit for off-site parking.
The third parcel, located along the south and west of the property, would be a residential parcel. It would feature up to 67 rental apartment units, nine two-story townhomes with two or three bedrooms and 162 underground parking spaces on two levels. Amenities would include a swimming pool, two parking entrances and green space.
The requests for the residential parcel stirred up the most discussion among the council, particularly the request for a height variance. The maximum height allowable according to the city’s design standards is 35 feet. The variance request asks for 51-feet, 8-inches.
The primary reason for such a large leap in height is the 40-foot slope stretching north and south along this portion of the property.
“We generally don’t see anything in Wayzata that has that number,” said Valerie Quarles, Assistant Planner. “We also don’t see a building built on a 40-foot slope.”
Quarles noted the planning commission was split on the height variance. Those supportive of it found it to be an unavoidable challenge to development. Those who were concerned were simply cautious of the immense height as a whole.
“This is an incredibly unique site,” said Mayor Johanna Mouton. “This isn’t just a flat site where someone wants to maximize every inch.”
Mouton has not been in favor of height variances in the past, stating she does not vote in favor of them.
“I’m OK with this but barely,” she said. “It’s going to be tall. There are no two ways about it. It’s going to be imposing on Maggie Manor.”
Councilor Cathy Iverson had the most reservations about the overall proposal among the council members. She did not support the subdivision or the requests for the office parcel and the residential parcel.
“I can’t go in the weeds when I can’t get behind the concept,” she said. “There’s too much going on in one space. There is nothing charming about it. It does not feel like a gateway to a lake community.”
While the rest of the council was supportive of the project, they agreed to include several conditions as well as staff guidance ahead of a future development agreement. Conditions include screening of the bank wall on the east side, possibly with architectural variety, vegetation or public art; mechanical equipment may not exceed the granted height variance; front yard spaces cannot be fenced in. They also asked that a pollinator meadow, which was included in the project’s plans by ESG Architecture and Design, remain in the plan.
The vote was 4-1 in favor and the resolution passed. Iverson was the lone vote against.
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.
First off, Wayzata will have a new mayor in 2021 and the make up of the city council will change too.
Current Mayor Ken Willcox is not seeking re-election after 12 years as mayor.
City Councilmember Johanna McCarthy is the only person to throw her hat in the ring for the mayor’s seat. Barring a major write-in campaign of another candidate, McCarthy will be Wayzata’s next mayor.
McCarthy moving a few seats down in the city council chamber will open up an opportunity for an appointment. We’ll get to that in a bit.
Meanwhile, four candidates are competing for two council seats. Incumbents Dan Koch and Alex Plechash are seeking re-election. Planning Commissioners Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill running to join the council.
Assuming McCarthy becomes the city’s next mayor, no matter who wins the council race, there will be a vacancy to fill.
McCarthy will vacate her council seat for the mayoral seat. The council will then need to appoint someone for McCarthy’s seat. The drama of the Wayzata city elections will carry over into 2021 with the decision of the appointment.
Democratic candidate Caitlin Cahill is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Jerry Hertaus for the Minnesota House District 33A seat.
Hertaus was first elected to the legislature in 2012.
Hertaus is a business owner and lives in Greenfield.
Cahill grew up in Plymouth and graduated from the Wayzata Schools. She is serving in her second term as a city council member in Maple Plain.
In a previous interview with Wayzata.com, Cahill stated, “We live in some of the fastest-growing communities in the state, and we need practical, forward-thinking representation to match that growth. Business as usual will not suffice. I will make it a priority to listen to constituents and develop data-driven solutions to make our communities even better.”
Democratic candidate Gretchen Piper is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. David Osmek for the Minnesota Senate District 33 seat.
Osmek was first elected to the legislature in 2012.
He serves as Chair of the Senate Energy and Utilities Finance and Policy Committee.
He is a healthcare consultant and lives in Mound.
Piper is a business owner who grew up in Hamel, and now lives in Wayzata.
In a previous interview with Wayzata.com, Piper stated, “I’m running to put our shared values into action, not the values of a political party. I’m committed to listening to you and being part of constructive, common sense solutions that benefit our communities – all of us.”
Third Congressional District
U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips is up for re-election in Minnesota Congressional District 3.
Phillips, a Democrat, defeated Republican Erik Paulsen in 2018.
Phillips is a member of the House Ethics, Financial Services and Foreign Affairs Committees, as well as the Democracy Reform Task Force and the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
His challenger is Republican Kendall Qualls.
Qualls grew up in New York and served in the U.S. Army.
He later worked in the healthcare industry for several companies including Medtronic.
Hennepin County Commissioner
Jan Callison is not seeking reelection to the Hennepin County Board of Commissioners serving the 6th District.
Dario Anselmo and Chris Latondresse are squaring off for the seat.
Anselmo has lived in Edina for 20 years and has worked in the commercial real estate business for 28 years.
Latondresse grew up and raised his family in Hopkins and is currently the Vice-Chair of the Hopkins School Board.
Three Rivers Park District
Incumbent Three Rivers Park District Board Member Marge Beard is running unopposed for the District 1 seat.
Along with other Minnesotans, Wayzatans will also vote for President and a U.S. Senate seat.
The city of Wayzata recently wrapped up an online community poll regarding police worn body cameras.
Image Courtesy City of Wayzata
The Wayzata Police Department will be implementing the program beginning in November.
The police department has been working on the program for several years.
“We are now falling in line with many other agencies as body cameras have now become somewhat a norm,” said Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold at a recent city council meeting. “The transparency and the accountability are key.”
High-profile police-citizen interactions across the country have brought police body cameras to the forefront.
“We look at the critical incidences that we see nationwide and the importance of having that video evidence.”
Acceptance of the use of body cameras by police officers has changed through the years.
“Officers have gone from ‘we don’t want to open that can of worms’ to ‘we can’t have them fast enough’,” said Risvold.
“The timing is right to get this thing going,” added Risvold.
The cost of the body camera program is just under $12,000 per year on a five-year contract.
Here are the results of the Wayzata Police Department Body Worn Camera Policy Survey conducted via polco.us:
Where do you live?
Wayzata – 76% (47)
Long Lake – 11% (7)
Neither Wayzata nor Long Lake – 13% (8)
What is your gender?
Female – 50% (31)
Male – 50% (31)
What is your age?
20-34 years – 6% (4)
35-54 years – 40% (25)
55-64 years – 35% (22)
65 years and over – 18% (11)
I feel concerned about my privacy when having to deal with officers wearing body cameras.
Strongly Agree – 2% (1)
Agree – 5% (3)
Neutral – 10% (6)
Disagree – 35% (22)
Strongly Disagree – 48% (30)
An interaction with the police is less likely to result in a confrontation if everybody knows the
interaction is being recorded with body worn video.
Strongly Agree – 47% (29)
Agree – 42% (26)
Neutral – 5% (3)
Disagree – 5% (3)
Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)
Police use of body worn video is a step in the right direction.
Strongly Agree – 56% (35)
Agree – 39% (24)
Neutral – 5% (3)
Disagree – 0%
Strongly Disagree – 0%
Body worn video protects police against false accusations.
Strongly Agree – 66% (41)
Agree – 34% (21)
Neutral – 0%
Disagree – 0%
Strongly Disagree – 0%
Police should be required to notify individuals when they are being recorded on body worn video.
Strongly Agree – 15% (9)
Agree – 26% (16)
Neutral – 19% (12)
Disagree – 27% (17)
I feel safer when a police officer is wearing a video camera.
Strongly Agree – 44% (27)
Agree – 31% (19)
Neutral – 21% (13)
Disagree – 3% (2)
Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)
It is acceptable for Police to record body worn video as part of their official duties.
Strongly Agree – 58% (36)
Agree – 37% (23)
Neutral – 5% (3)
Disagree – 0%
Strongly Disagree – 0%
An officer should be able to view (not edit) body worn video prior to writing a report.
Strongly Agree – 34% (21)
Agree – 40% (25)
Neutral – 15% (9)
Disagree – 8% (5)
Strongly Disagree – 3% (2)
All police interactions with the public should be recorded with body worn video.
Strongly Agree – 42% (26)
Agree – 35% (22)
Neutral – 16% (10)
Disagree – 5% (3)
Strongly Disagree – 2% (1)
Police officers collect body worn video to protect me.
Strongly Agree – 34% (21)
Agree – 45% (28)
Neutral – 15% (9)
Disagree – 6% (4)
Strongly Disagree – 0%
Are there specific questions you believe the Wayzata Police Department’s body worn camera policy should address?
By individual officer, what is your answers to the questions we just answered from your concept and perception?
The policy of turning the camera off. What will be the policy of releasing footage whether it clears and officer or not. What is done
When video is appropriately shared (nude video, graphic, etc). How long is video kept that is not part of a criminal proceeding?
Will these videos be reviewed regularily?
What role does body camera footage play when police are responding to medical emergencies in their communities?
Thank you for the survey!
I believe that routine interaction with police should not require body camera use, Police should turn their camera on when the
Interaction becomes non-routine, or when their is evidence that a law has been broken. (other then minor traffic infractions).
No questions. My family supports the Police Department 100%, and if they need body cam footage to protect themselves from false accusations, it is fine by us.
Fines and suspension, etc when someone turns off their camera. Cannot allow some incidents to be filmed and others not. I’m in favor of
The ability for people to “screen” their personal identifying information (address, name, etc) from the general public, especially if a mental health condition is the underlying issue and reason for the call vs a crime (ie, Probably not a good idea to be posting all film publicly unless there is a dispute. Allow citizens to protect their ID if desired, within reason). Use common sense to protect privacy.
Body cams should be auto-on. Police shouldn’t have to turn it on – they may forget or selectively omit when they don’t want to record
When police are required to turn them on. It should be all the time.
Policy for disciplining officers if they don’t reliably or consistently use their PRS.
Security of stored body cam video e.g. against tampering or unauthorized access
This is not a question, but a comment. As a person who has had the opportunity to ride numerous times (15+ years ago) with many impressive officers of two suburban metro-mpls police departments, I can see how the use of a body cam can be a real benefit (potentially to both the officer and the citizen) and also “one more thing to manage in a quickly unfolding situation”. I’m sure it can be a powerful training tool, and a way to recall very dynamic situations. Hopefully, it is not in any was a liability to the officer as one more thing to think of when timing counts. My hope is that this tool will be an enhancement to the job and not an encumbrance. With that, thank you for what you do to keep us safe, and act as a valuable resource! We hope that unsuitable cops can be dealt with so that the good cops can do what they do so well! Thank you for being there for us!
Are there questions community advocates should ask Wayzata Police Department during the development of the body camera program?
What is done with the digital recordings? Hourly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly? Quarterly or annually or forever? Is this like DNA evidence that remains part of every interaction in perpetuity?
Yes, what about gun cameras in addition to or in place of, body cameras. They are less money and are made locally in Maple Plain. Viridian Weapon Technologies.
Will they be on at all times? not have the ability to be turned off?
Does the body camera policy and system include night vision capability?
Thank you for the opportunity!
What is best practice to protect the public in allowing police to review or not review recorded video prior to writing a report?
Not really a question but I would like to have normal day-day conversations with police without it being recorded. I also believe their should be a high bar for release of any recordings regardless of whether or not a law has been broken.
Will they be able to turn it off? Why?
Are body worn camera recording audited to find police that may be breaking rules unknowingly or knowingly? Who should be doing the auditing to ensure there’s no conflict of interest?
Whose input has been gathered in this process? The police work for the people, and if the surveys have mostly been encouraged by police officers asking friends/ family to take it, or if the police force is equal or greater than the voice of citizens, that’s not democracy. It should be citizen’s choice, with strong police input AND what the data says around impact and risks of body cams.
Why would cops prefer not to do cams? It seems like it’s a win-win for all parties.
When pulling people over and as son as they turn their camera on, should they record their initial reason or rationale for pulling someone over?
How do the Wayzata Police officers feel about this, pros/cons?
I think regarding the officer reviewing video prior to writing reports: the procedure that Wayzata adopts should be the procedure that offers the highest level of protection and service to the public. Moreover, the procedure Wayzata uses should be whatever procedure is consider best practice across the nation. The Volusia County Sherriff’s dept of Florida has become a model of success for training officers to serve a diverse population. I would like our police dept to adopt regular training that is similar to that of Volusia County.
It is less than a month to the general elections and Wayzata residents will choose two city council candidates of a total of four on the ticket. Current council members Dan Koch and Alex Plechash are seeking reelection while planning commissioners Cathy Iverson and Jeffrey Parkhill are looking to join the city council.
Wayzata.com asked each candidate to submit a statement to voters in 250 words or less.
The statements follow in alphabetical order by last name.
Business Environment — The City must define a vision for a vibrant future that balances the needs of residents, businesses and visitors. As a destination city, we have devoted significant resources to attracting tourists. Let’s enjoy all the good work that our City has undertaken and take a breath to put a development plan in place. Now is the time to develop a 5-year plan to enhance the community for residents.
We must review and edit our building standards to save our small-town charm. This will require creative architecture and following existing height ordinances.
No property should be considered too important to be exempt from our vision of the city.Even major redevelopments must respect our height ordinances. Wayzata should not allow a massive urban building to dominate our downtown and loom over our lakefront.
Traffic – Safety — With growth have come traffic and safety concerns. Neighborhoods are dealing with increased traffic cut-through and speeding. Wayzata Blvd. has become dangerous for cars and pedestrians.
Density – We need to listen to citizens’ concerns about increased density. It is possible to protect our “small town charm” with reasonable lot sizes and tree canopies, while increasing density selectively and wisely.
Fiscal Responsibility — With the worlds uncertainties, the City must careful review ALL expenditures.
Boardwalk/Panoway–The City promised this project would be 100% funded with private dollars. No residents tax dollars. This does not need to be paid for and maintained by the residents of Wayzata.
I met my wife, Cindy, at Wayzata High School 30 years ago. We have two daughters, Sophie, and Abbey. I graduated from Wayzata High School and studied economics at St. Olaf College. I am a Vice President of Commercial Lending at Bridgewater Bank, where I build relationships and serve businesses, real estate investors and entrepreneurs.
I currently serve on the Wayzata City Council, Interfaith Outreach Finance Committee and am the Treasurer of the Lake Effect Conservancy Board. I previously served as Board Chair of the Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce.
Wayzata is a special place to call home. It has changed a lot since I first moved to the area 35 years ago. Despite the changes, it has maintained the small-town charm that makes it so great.
Maintaining this charm does not mean we should sit back, say “No” to everything and do nothing for the next few years for the sake of taking a breath.
I believe the council needs to be proactive in the management of change and growth in the City. I have had the honor and pleasure of serving you on the City Council for the past four years.
In my first term, I have focused on maintaining the financial strength of the City, keeping a balanced approach to development, enhancing our parks and public spaces, and supporting policies that help our businesses thrive. I look to continue fostering these priorities in my second term.
I appreciate your vote to make that happen.
I have 35 years of business and real estate experience. I have an MBA from the University of Chicago and was a practicing CPA. My sole focus as a councilman will be to help maintain Wayzata’s charm for my grandkids. I have traveled to other countries, been in lots of beautiful cities and have lived in four major metros in the U.S. Wayzata ranks extremely high on a national and international scale of places to live. Wayzata is home and a special place to protect from the outside pressures of change.
My greatest concern is that our downtown and lake front becomes a place where residents don’t go on the weekends. For years we have had a cottage near Lake Geneva, Wis. I stopped going “downtown” because it stopped appealing to me…as a local resident. Lake Geneva made the decision to cater to the tourists … not the residents.
We want to be welcoming. We want students to come and learn about the lake, small scale development and our businesses to flourish. We need to lease up our vacant space, improve connectivity between neighborhoods and execute our 2040 comprehensive plan. Which I helped create.
There are lots of market forces that want to sell Wayzata to the highest bidder. As a Council member, you residents will be my priority. My promise is that I will listen and make sure all of you still want to come “downtown”… EVEN ON THE WEEKENDS. Visit me at Jeffparkhill.com
Living in Wayzata was not happenstance. I consciously chose it as my home and it’s where I have lived for 26 years which is significant when you consider that I’ve lived in 12 different states (since college), been deployed overseas and visited 42 different countries. I know a great place when I see it.
My life is about service; not only as a councilman, but as a Volunteer Firefighter for the past 14 years. Taken together, it’s a very effective way of learning about the heart of a community. My service life began at the U. S. Naval Academy where I majored in Aerospace Engineering. I had the privilege of being nominated for a Rhodes Scholarship and ultimately received a Guggenheim Fellowship for graduate study at Princeton, Cal Tech and MIT. Although the service academies are counted among the very best colleges in the country, they are fundamentally about training leaders. Graduating near the top of my class, I chose to be commissioned in the Marine Corps and had the privilege of serving as a fighter pilot.
What I learned at the academy … practiced as a Marine … and honed in business was genuine leadership; not the kind that comes with titles and publicity, but the kind that is characterized by the term “Servant-Leader.” I have been told I have the ability to listen to a variety of viewpoints and assimilate disparate data from which to make reasoned and balanced decisions. That is what I bring to the City.