A new apartment complex could emerge in downtown Waconia next year following city council action Monday, Sept 21.

The council approved a site plan, design and variance for an eight-unit apartment building at Second Street West near Olive Street South in the downtown district. The apartment building would replace two existing single-family homes there.

Several conditions were part of the approval regarding demolition of the existing structures and design of the new one. The new apartment will have surface and underground parking.

In approving plans for the proposed three-story apartment building, council members noted the multi-family unit would attract more residents and more business to the downtown, and called it the “right use and the right location.”

In other business, the council denied an amendment to a planned development called the Shores of Lake Waconia east site under construction east of County Road 92. The council had earlier approved an amendment that eased height restrictions on homes being built there to allow for 42-foot building height.

Last Monday, on a 3-2 vote, the council denied an amendment request that would have allowed 45 percent hardcover maximum per parcel for the 50 lots there versus the 35 percent impervious surface maximum currently allowed. In other words, the amendment would have allowed for larger homes.

The developer indicated that current restrictions would limit the size and design flexibility of homes proposed for the development, and the planning commission approved the request for a change in the restriction at an earlier meeting.

However, in voting to deny the amendment, council members Marc Carrier, Peter Leo and Nicole Waldron indicated they were disappointed about the timing of the developer’s request after homes were already starting to be built. They also expressed concerns about potential lake and surface water impacts of stormwater runoff from larger impervious surfaces, as well as potential increases in variance requests from homeowners as they move into the homes and consider surface area modifications like patios to structures that would already be pushing limits on impervious surfaces.

The council also denied an off-sale liquor license application from Cloud X Vapes citing previous violations for sales of tobacco to underage persons. Another reason for license denial was Cloud X’s sale of snacks and CBD products, which are not allowed to be sold at a facility with an off-sale liquor licenses per Minnesota law.

The council did approve a variance for property at 1343 Pond Circle that would allow the applicant to build a garage within the 10-foot setback minimum from a side lot.

The council also approved an agreement with the Carver County Water Management Organization that would allow city crews to assist in annual cleaning of new stormwater sump structures being installed near Lake Bavaria. Although outside the city of Waconia, city staff sometimes assists with small projects like the county request, noted Public Services Director Craig Eldred, and partnership with the CCWMO supports the quality of all Carver County water systems.

In financial business, the council approved a nearly $5.9 million general fund preliminary levy for 2021 and a total tax levy of $8.6 million, which includes special levies. (Details of the levy were reported in the Sept. 17, 2020 Waconia Patriot). Final city budgets for 2021 are expected to be finalized and approved in December.

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