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Brainerd City Council: Council mulls revised zones for some properties

Looks like there might be a lot of proverbial lines redrawn in the proverbial sand. During a meeting Monday, Aug. 6, the Brainerd City Council approved the first readings for three separate zoning ordinance amendments--a trifecta of changes propo...

City Administrator Cassandra Torstenson (left) advises council members during the meeting Monday, Aug. 6. Gabriel Lagarde / Brainerd Dispatch
City Administrator Cassandra Torstenson (left) advises council members during the meeting Monday, Aug. 6. Gabriel Lagarde / Brainerd Dispatch

Looks like there might be a lot of proverbial lines redrawn in the proverbial sand.

During a meeting Monday, Aug. 6, the Brainerd City Council approved the first readings for three separate zoning ordinance amendments-a trifecta of changes proposed by petitioners to reshape what kinds of housing are permitted.

"A single property in any of these situations probably didn't have a good chance of getting a favorable review for rezoning," said City Planner Mark Ostgarden. "However all three of these situations, if they were able to coordinate and get approval from neighboring properties, they might be able to get a favorable quote from the city council."

Because the initial petitioners were able to enlist the approval of their neighbors, as well as proximity to districts in line with their proposed redesignation, the planning commission recommended their approval, Ostgarden noted.

In all these cases, petitioners are looking to repurpose properties to create rental housing situations that aren't currently permitted as the statutes are written.

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The planning ordinance changes on the docket are as follows:

• To rezone 1110 Pine St., 1106 Pine St., 1114 Pine St., 1107 Quince St., 1109 Quince St., 1120 Pine St., 1124 Pine St., 1113 Quince St., 1115 Quince St., 714 12th St. and 716 12th St. from an R1 (single-family residential) to an R2 (medium-density, primarily it allows duplexes) designation.

• To rezone 1210 and 1202 on Southeast 13th Street from an R-3 (high-density residential) to an R2 designation.

• To rezone 1015 Walnut St., 1014 Walnut St., 1016 Walnut St., and 1018 Walnut St. from an R3 designation to an R1 designation.

In other business, the council:

Approved a street and sewer assessment policy. Cities use special assessments to determine levies from adjoining properties to capital improvement projects. The policy indicates what an assessment is, what are considered assessable improvements by the city, how much of the project cost is being assessed, how assessments are initiated either by petition or council action, assessment proceeds per statute 429, deferments, as well as frequently asked questions, including how improvements affect property taxes and why in certain circumstances the assessable footage is different than the front footage on the assessment role.

Approved a request by the owner of 414 N. 10th Street to finance a replacement of a sewer line serving the property-billed at $4,400 over a 10-year property tax assessment with 3.5 percent interest.

Approved an event and street closure application for the 21st Bataan Memorial Death March from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. The half and full-marathon event is slated to start at the Brainerd Armory on Wright Street, head westward and down the spur line to a route out of the city, ending back at the Brainerd Armory.

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Approved a temporary ground lease to Productive Alternatives at 724 Thiesse Drive for the storage of the company's bus fleet. The lease is a $1,200 month-by-month, with a 6-month limit, for a 6,000-square-foot plot.

Authorized contractor quotes for a project to repair and improve storm manholes in the vicinity of South 10th Street and Southeast 13th Street. Estimated costs sit at $29,100 for the city of Brainerd and $21,900 for Crow Wing County.

Approved a change order for improvements to the Brook Street and South 10th Street resurfacing project. The price change-billed at $2,108 to TDS Telecom upon payment to Anderson Brothers Construction-comes after a telecommunications line was discovered drilled through the center of a storm sewer line during the project.

Approved a final pay estimate for the 2018 seal-coat project-the original contract price was $159,852.94, while final costs came to $131,996.57. Much of the price reduction came down to the removal of Willow Street and South Seventh Street from the project.

Accepted a request for a one-year leave of absence by Brainerd firefighter Mark Teckemeyer, Aug. 1. According to request documents, Teckemeyer had moved outside the 10-minute response area required for on-call firefighters. The leave of absence will see if the response time is changed-his new residence is 15 minutes away-or if Teckemeyer resigns.

Authorized the Brainerd Police Department to enter into a cooperative agreement with the state of Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety for the 2019 Toward Zero Deaths Traffic Safety Enforcement Grant.

Approved a request for out-of-state/travel training for Brainerd Police Officer Tim Friis to attend explosives and pyrotechnic chemistry training in Tulsa, Okla. from Aug. 13-18. Friis is a member of the Brainerd-Crow Wing County bomb squad.

Approved a request for out-of-state/travel training for Brainerd Police Administrative Supervisor Julie McCullough to attend the annual Zuercher One User conference in Sioux Falls, S.D. from Sept. 12-13. The training pertains to the departments records management system software, or LETG.

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Authorized the sale of retired Brainerd Police Department vehicles at the Mid-State Auto Auction. The vehicles being replaced include a 2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee, a 2013 Chevrolet Tahoe and a 2014 Ford Police Interceptor Sedan.

Authorized staff to post for a temporary trainee building inspector position internally. The motion was billed as an opportunity for a specific individual already employed by the city and the city itself-providing valuable experience and certification for the employee, while meeting a need for the city. The employee will be contracted for 67 days in this role.

Approved a job description for a proposed community development director position. The directorship would replace and share many of the roles currently executed by the city planner. The position change was prompted in large part by City Planner Mark Ostgarden's announcement he will be retiring from his position effective Jan. 4, 2019. A community development director would oversee the city's zoning and planning functions, help coordinate economic development, as well as take on a managerial role over the building department, which is currently overseen by City Engineer Paul Sandy. The council is expected to contract with David Drown Associates and interview through a tribunal of representatives of the Brainerd Housing and Redevelopment authority, City Administrator Cassandra Torstenson and council member Sue Hilgart.

Convened a public hearing on the Small Cities Development Program downtown grant. No one spoke.

Directed staff to meet with Hy-Tec Construction to pursue a project to repair the Gregory Park archway, with capital improvement fund allocations capped at $7,000. Estimates for repair costs stand at $6,770-though, Sandy noted, they may increase.

Approved a annual payment increase from $9,500 to $10,000 for the Fire Department Relief Association.

An aerial shot of "Block 9," or the Quince-Pine Street properties involved in the first ordinance amendment proposal to change these properties from R1 to R2 designations. Aerial photograph / City of Brainerd
An aerial shot of "Block 9," or the Quince-Pine Street properties involved in the first ordinance amendment proposal to change these properties from R1 to R2 designations. Aerial photograph / City of Brainerd

Related Topics: HOUSING
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