A regular meeting of the Hopkins Planning & Zoning Commission was held on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Hopkins City Hall.
Present were Commission Members Laura L. Daly, Kristin Hanneman, Brian Hunke, Gary Newhouse and James Warden. Commissioners Matthew McNeil and Emily Wallace-Jackson were absent. Also present was City Planner Jason Lindahl.
Chair Hunke called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.
Commissioner Newhouse moved, Commissioner Warden seconded, to adopt the agenda. The motion was approved unanimously.
Commissioner Daly moved, Commissioner Hanneman seconded, to approve the minutes of the December 20, 2016, regular meeting. The motion was approved unanimously.
1. Planning Application 2017-01-CUP: The Blake School Campus Improvements
Mr. Lindahl gave an overview of this item, stating The Blake School requests approval of a conditional use permit to allow construction of their campus improvement plan. This plan includes a series of projects to modernize and expand The Blake School's facilities over the next three years. Blake's plans include renovations to their existing ice arena, dining commons, admissions offices, main entry hall, western driveway and southern parking lot.
Blake campus improvement plans will occur in three phases over the next three years. Phase 1 will be a 4,900 square feet addition to the existing ice arena and include a new entry vestibule, expanded locker rooms and larger public restrooms. Phase 1 is scheduled to begin in March of 2017 and conclude by the end of the year. Phase 2 will be a 16,000 square feet addition to the dining commons and admissions offices. The second phase is scheduled to begin in August of 2017 and be completed by August of 2018. Phase 3 calls for a new 20,000 square feet entry hall that will provide a singular entry point into the Hopkins facility, as well as a new parking lot and drop-off/ pick-up system. Phase 3 is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2018 and be completed by August of 2019. In total, these improvements will provide modernized and expanded facilities, improved ADA access and increase life safety and security for all students, faculty and visitors.
After hearing a summary presentation from staff, the Commissioners asked questions about applicant's landscaping and outdoor lighting plans, bus storage and circulation, tree removal and exterior building materials.
Chairman Hunke opened the public hearing. During the public hearing, Karen Lundholm of 309 Arthur Street, Edina, stated her concerns about the impact Blake's plan would have on properties to the west and south with regard to parking, noise, light, idling buses, public safety and property values. Dan Kelly, CFO for Blake, addressed the Commission and stated The Blake School is committed to working with its neighbors and the City to meet all development requirements.
Commissioner Warden moved, Commissioner Hanneman seconded, to close the public hearing. The hearing was closed at 7:46 p.m.
After some discussion, Commissioner Warden moved, Commissioner Daly seconded, to adopt Planning & Zoning Resolution 2017-01, recommending the City Council approve a conditional use permit for The Blake School, subject to conditions. The motion was approved 4-1, with Commissioner Newhouse voting against, because while he is in favor of Phases 1 and 2, he wanted Phase 3 to be pulled and voted on later.
During the announcements, Mr. Lindahl updated the Planning & Zoning Commission on the following items:
1. Cultivate Hopkins - 2040 Comprehensive Plan update
Mr. Lindahl shared two items with the Commission. First was a Cultivate Hopkins seed packet. Staff will distribute these packets to the public as a reminder to take the comprehensive plan survey. Next Mr. Lindahl provided each member with a copy of the new Ideas Map. The Ideas Map is another engagement tool and is designed to be complementary to the online survey by allowing geographic feedback.
2. Shady Oak Station Area Planning
Mr. Lindahl informed the Commission that City Councils from both Hopkins and Minnetonka recently held a joint meeting to discuss the structure and authority of the Shady Oak governing board. The Councils decided there should be a joint planning board that reviews projects in this area. After review by the joint planning board, projects in this area would then go before the City Council of the community hosting the project.
Mr. Lindahl informed the Commission that the City Council recently approved a one year moratorium on pawn shops, coin dealers and currency exchange businesses. Staff will bring this item before the Planning & Zoning Commission for further study later this year.
Commissioner Daly moved, Commissioner Warden seconded, to adjourn the meeting. The motion was approved unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 8:24 p.m.