At its Feb. 9 meeting, the St. Michael City Council revisited the Anton Village development and approved of downtown apartments by RISE Modular.
Council members also spoke with the folks over at St. Michael Cinema about expanding their outdoor events during COVID, and decided to put out a call for a new building inspector.
Last March, the City Council approved the final plat and PUD plan for the Anton Village development. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit, however, developers chose to hit pause on the project.
Located at the northeast corner of County Road 119 and Jamison Avenue, Anton Village is set to include 335 single family lots and a park with baseball fields. The project will include new roads, trails, stormwater ponds and the installation of municipal sewer and water systems.
Community Development Director Marc Weigle said these reintroduced plans are similar to the previously approved plans, the exception being that the 55’ wide lots have been converted to 65’ lots to accommodate two single family builders that have committed to the project. According to Weigle, the Planning Commission recommended approval of these plans on a 7-0 vote.
The council did raise concerns over traffic patterns surrounding the development, and staff shared that the county also expressed similar concerns. As a result, the developer will be required to build a roundabout to slow traffic and provide a median for pedestrians.
The council ultimately moved to approve the revised final plat and PUD plan for the Anton Village development.
ST. MICHAEL APARTMENTS - RISE
RISE Modular, an Owatonna-based construction company, submitted their preliminary plans for a 788,000 square foot project east of City Hall near Town Center Drive.
This RISE development is set to have a total of 82 units, with 51% as single bedroom units. RISE also plans to construct three other future structures as part of its phased development.
Common spaces, fitness areas and a range of studios to three bedrooms units are anticipated for this first building, in addition to ample parking for the constructed units.
Weigle said that the Planning Commission discussed parking, landscaping, unit mix and storage at their meeting, and ultimately recommended approval on a 7-0 vote. Before the meeting, Councilor Ryan Gleason requested a parking comparison to other projects in town, and Weigle shared a chart showing that this project “has more parking stalls per bedroom than the previous three Sand Companies projects.”
Councilor Joe Hagerty asked about work force units, to which Weigle said RISE will be applying for TIFs in the future to help make 20% of the units affordable “to a household at 50% of the area median income.”
Mayor Keith Wettschreck asked about who would be managing the property, and Christian
Lawrence from RISE said that they haven’t picked a management company yet. They also said that given the size of the first phase building, there would likely not be someone onsite 24/7 right away, and they would reassess when more buildings are completed.
The council ultimately moved to approve the preliminary and final plats, PUD plan and site plan for Saint Michael Apartments and Amendments to the Town Center PUD plan.
ST MICHAEL CINEMA
Weigle also brought up the fact that last year, the council loosened various zoning rules to help restaurants and other venues with pandemic restrictions. The St. Michael Cinema was one of the venues that reaped the benefits of these loosened restrictions, and is considering getting a more formal allowance to hold events.
More specifically, the Cinema is hoping to expand their outdoor movie and concert options. According to Deputy City Clerk Amy Woitalla, the Planning Commission was “receptive to it for at least this year or more, with the theater indicating they would likely only apply for this year and come back again for 2022.”
There have been a few complaints about noise in the past from the community, so the Cinema will be adjusting its speaker direction and location of events to the south side of the building. A public hearing will be held next month, likely at the March 3 planning meeting, and the Homeowners Association and those with past complaints will be invited.
Shelly Schnell, a representative from the Cinema, emphasized the fact that in order to keep their doors open, they need to get creative with their business due to COVID-19, few releases and the increased pressure of streaming services.
BUILDING INSPECTOR REVIEW
According to City Administrator Steve Bot, “new residential development growth in St. Michael is back to levels not seen since the early 2000’s when at our peak, we had four full time building inspectors.”
Now, the city has two full-time and one part-time inspector, with a joint department shared with the city of Albertville. Paul Heins, one of the full-time inspectors on staff, was present and spoke to the need for an additional position and truck.
Bot said, from a budgetary standpoint, he does not have any concerns with hiring another inspector, as any expenses will be offset by permit revenues. As for the truck, the city was planning on replacing the two existing vehicles anyways, and thus approved for the purchase of three trucks.
The council ultimately approved of the position description for the new building inspector role, recommended the order of the vehicles, and directed staff to reconnect with the city of Albertville to assess the current partnership.
REVIEWED a potential local partnership program grant to receive flashing yellow signal upgrade on the Highway 101 and County State-Aid Highway 36 interchange signals.
HELD a public hearing for the easement vacation of Lincoln Ponds 3rd addition. No public comments were made, so the council APPROVED of the easement vacation.
THANKED Steve Flaten for his past four years of service on the Planning Commission.