A regular meeting of the Hopkins Zoning and Planning Commission was held on Tuesday,
January 26, 2016, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Hopkins City Hall.
Present were Commission Members Gary Newhouse, Scott Kerssen, Mike Tait, Emily Wallace Jackson and Matt McNeil. Absent were Commission Members Brian Hunke and James Warden. Also present were City Planner Jason Lindahl and Planning & Development Director Kersten Elverum.
Chair Kerssen called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Commissioner Newhouse moved, Commissioner Tait seconded, to approve the minutes of the November 24, 2015, regular meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
Mr. Lindahl explained the split of the two-acre parcel, vacation of the storm sewer easement, the parking and access easement recording requirement and the deferral of a park dedication fee to the time of issuance of a building permit. He stated that any future development of Lot 2 will require full review and zoning approval from the City. Mr. Lindahl also summarized public comments he received concerning public parking in the area from Roz Peterson of Cerron Properties and resident parking during snow removal from the property from Joe Hruska, president of Sixth Avenue South Block Association.
Erin Mathern, representing Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), explained that the process of refinancing gave CHDC the opportunity to replat now rather than at the time of their anticipated development proposal for an apartment building with 120-180 affordable units with underground parking. She stated that the parking lot is now underutilized by 40-50 percent, renovation of the current building will include exterior painting, new windows and an improved entry that will enhance accessibility. Interior improvements will be extensive in common areas and within units. The number of units will remain the same. Cost is estimated at $3-4.5 million.
Public Hearing: Chair Kerssen opened the public hearing at 6:52 p.m. No one came forward to speak. Commissioner Newhouse moved, Commissioner McNeil seconded, to close the public hearing. The motion was approved unanimously. The public hearing closed at 6:53 p.m.
Commissioner McNeil moved, Commissioner Newhouse seconded, to adopt Planning Resolution 2016-01, recommending the City Council approve the preliminary plat for Hopkins Village, subject to the conditions. The motion was approved unanimously.
Commissioner McNeil moved, Commissioner Tait seconded, to adopt Planning Resolution 2016-02, recommending the City Council approve the final plat for Hopkins Village, subject to the conditions. The motion was approved unanimously.
Ms. Elverum explained that this project is important to the City vision to make a strong connection between the proposed Downtown LRT station and Mainstreet via Eighth Avenue. The creation of a TIF district will make it financially feasible for this 241-unit apartment development to be built in view of the high cost of redevelopment and the pedestrian/bicyclist focused aspects of the project. In response to questions from the Commission, Ms. Elverum stated that the term of the district will be 25 years, but this project term may be fewer years depending on need, and that provisions to outline an acceptable rate of return will be included. The district area will be the footprint of the project. The Commission is being asked to find that the project conforms to the general plans for redevelopment of the City. There will be a public hearing on approval of the district at the February 2 City Council meeting.
Commissioner Newhouse moved, Commissioner Wallace-Jackson seconded, to adopt Planning Resolution 2016-03, finding that a modification to the redevelopment plan for Redevelopment Project No. I and a tax increment financing plan for Tax Increment Financing District No. 1-5 (The Moline) conform to the general plans for the development and redevelopment of the City. The motion was approved unanimously.
Commissioner Newhouse moved, Commissioner McNeil seconded, to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 7:10 p.m.