Planning & Zoning Commission Minutes

February 28, 2017

A regular meeting of the Hopkins Planning & Zoning Commission was held on February 28, 2017, at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chambers of Hopkins City Hall.

Present were Commission Members Kristin Hanneman, Brian Hunke, Matthew McNeil, Gary Newhouse, Emily Wallace-Jackson and James Warden.  Commission Member Laura L. Daly was absent.  Also present was City Planner Jason Lindahl.

CALL TO ORDER

Chair Hunke called the meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

ADOPT AGENDA

Commissioner Warden moved, Commissioner Newhouse seconded, to adopt the agenda.  The motion was approved unanimously.

OPEN AGENDA - PUBLIC COMMENTS/CONCERNS

None

CONSENT AGENDA

Commissioner Warden moved, Commissioner Hanneman seconded, to approve the minutes of the January 25, 2017, regular meeting with the corrections that the public hearing was closed before the vote was taken and the explanation of Commissioner Newhouse’s vote against the motion be corrected to “while he is in favor of Phases 1 and 2, he wanted Phase 3 to be pulled and voted on later.”  The motion was approved unanimously.

PUBLIC HEARING

Planning Application 2017-02-VAR.  Tonka Medical Supplies submitted a letter asking that their application be withdrawn. 

OLD BUSINESS

None

NEW BUSINESS

1. Creekview Apartments 2017-03-CON:  Concept plan from KM2 Development to redevelop the existing 3-story, 37-unit apartment building into a 5-story, 140-unit, market rate apartment building.

Mr. Lindahl stated that no action is needed on this item.  The Commission is being asked to provide feedback and identify issues on the concept to help the applicant prepare a formal application if the project moves forward. This project is scheduled to go before the Council March 14.  Mr. Lindahl gave an overview of the surrounding area including the floodplain, conformance of the proposal to the Comp Plan and Station Area Plans, and present zoning standards.  He discussed the possibility of a PUD, variance or rezoning, and addressed the watershed district approval impact, the anticipated approval process and the issues that could be included in a PUD.  Mr. Lindahl stated that at this time staff is looking for comments on big issues, setbacks, land coverage, access points and any other issue the Commission feels is appropriate.  In reply to a question about affordable housing, Mr. Lindahl stated that affordability could be added to the list of items to address as part of the PUD if the Commission identified it as a priority.

Kent  Freminhauer, KM2 Development, gave the Commission an overview of the project, including the following:

  • “Affordable” for their project means that they will set aside 20 percent of the units for tenants with vouchers
  • One bedroom unit approximately $1.85 sq. ft. 
  • Rent range will be market rate, not luxury, $900 to $1,300
  • If the water table is prohibitive to their proposal, they will not demolish the building, just renovate the units
  • Will do a traffic study to address concerns
  • Will have roof-top deck, bike garage/shop and outside pool amenities

Ann Beuch, member of Blake Road Corridor Collaborative, though not representing them formally, presented the following concerns to the Commission:

  • What support will there be for the 37 displaced residents?
  • There is a lack of apartments with 3-4 bedrooms
  • Affordability is relative; Edina project is luxury
  • Since the voucher supplies the full market rate, why limit the amount of vouchers accepted to 20 percent?  Mr. Freminhauer stated that they are using the 20 percent figure as the amount that will be set aside for vouchers.  More could be taken if there were vacancies.

The Commission discussed Met Council’s affordability targets, which Mr. Lindahl explained Hopkins exceeds, and that staff and Council are aiming for a balance of available housing.  The Commission concluded their discussion with the following comments:

  • The consensus priorities for the PUD are architectural design, storm water management and creek restoration, and pedestrian and bicycle facilities
  • No issue with north side setback to Wendy’s
  • Good that developer is being aggressive with parking spaces, promoting biking and cleanup of creek area and improving accessibility
  • Can City help displaced persons find new housing?
  • Attempt to preserve affordable housing
  • Concern with setback uniformity along the Blake Road corridor, balancing vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle access
  • Would like more height and less coverage for more open space; density could go up
  • How can we achieve more 3- and 4-bedroom units?

ANNOUNCEMENTS

During the announcements, Mr. Lindahl updated the Planning & Zoning Commission on the following items:

1. Planning Application 2017-01-CUP:  The Blake School Campus Improvements

The Council approved this application and a permit is anticipated to be issued soon.   

2. Community Resilience Workshop Report

At Mr. Lindahl’s request, those who attended the workshop made the following comments:  very good; very intense; ambitious goals; when will feedback be available?  Mr. Lindahl stated that staff will report findings to the Commission at a future meeting and the plan is to incorporate information into the Comp Plan.

3. Cultivate Hopkins – 2040 Comprehensive Plan Update

Staff is continuing to get input—attended Alice Smith Winterfest and Eisenhower Go Family Go, which were more diverse events, and the HBCA annual meeting.  The idea map is continuing to be developed to place in town and on web site.

4. Citizens Academy Alumni Event

Commission is being asked to attend this April 25 event that will cover Comp Plan information.   If there are other items for that month, a short P&Z meeting will take place before or after.

5. Taco Bell Mural

Taco Bell Corporate decided to remove this idea for branding purposes.  Staff asked management to ask corporate to reconsider.

In conclusion, the Commission requested Met Council figures for affordable housing and vacancy rates when discussing new housing projects. 

ADJOURN

Commissioner McNeil moved, Commissioner Wallace-Jackson seconded, to adjourn the meeting.  The motion was approved unanimously.  The meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.

 

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