Medina bans using coal tar-based sealer

The Medina City Council Tuesday, July 17, passed an ordinance banning the application of undiluted coal tar-based sealer to any driveway, parking lot or other surface within the city of Medina.

At the meeting, the City Council also took up other business. Here are some meeting highlights.



Coal tar-based products are commonly used in sealers for both residential and commercial asphalt driveways. City Administrator Scott Johnson explained the reason for prohibiting the use of these products in Medina. He said they are a source of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are known carcinogens.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has reported that PAHs are present in storm water sediments that are running off of driveways and parking lots and entering lakes and streams, Johnson said. Cleaning up this type of pollution from waterways would be costly.

A number of other metro cities already have banned use of coal tar-based sealcoat products, he said. The state of Minnesota has discussed enacting a ban, but this has not happened so far, he said.

Meanwhile, a number of retailers have stopped carrying coal tar-based sealer products. However, some vendors still are ordering and selling them. This is the reason that Medina needs to have an ordinance regulating the use of these products, he said.

The ordinance applies only to use of undiluted coal tar-based sealers in the city and does not apply to use of asphalt-based sealers. It is a misdemeanor for anyone to apply coal tar-based products to any surface and for anyone to contract with someone to apply them.

City Councilor Liz Weir likened the coal tar-based sealer ordinance to ordinances that cities adopted to ban use of fertilizers containing phosphorus. This chemical also has been polluting lakes and streams.



The City Council approved the final plat and development agreement for the second addition of the Enclave of Medina housing development, located on Hunter drive south of Medina Legion Park. Lennar (US Home Corporation) is the developer and builder for the Enclave, which will be constructed in four phases. For this second phase, Lennar has plans for 50 single-family lots.

City Planner Dusty Finke said that Lennar has pulled 16 building permits for homes in the Lennar first addition, and Joe Jablonski, of Lennar, said people already are moving in to some of the homes.

The overall project will include 40 R1 single-family parcels, 71 R2 single-family parcels and 41 R3 town home parcels. The first phase is on the northern end of the Enclave just south of Legion Park, the second phase is in the middle and the third phase will be on the southern end. The town homes will be constructed last.



Joe Cavanaugh received feedback from the City Council on a concept plan for a residential subdivision being proposed by RPC Medina LLC. The subdivision would sit on 23 acres north of Highway 55 and east of Arrowhead Drive. Meander Road would run along the southern edge of the property. The Fields of Medina subdivision would be to the east, and the property to the south is destined for commercial development.

Cavanaugh said RPC would set up the land for another company to develop it. He preferred larger 75-foot lots. However, this layout would result in a net density of 3.12 units per acre.

City Planner Finke said the Metropolitan Council is requiring Medina to have a density of 3.5 units per acre in the metropolitan urban services area. He added that Medina recently has approved three large developments, including the Enclave, and held the developers to the 3.5 units per acre requirement.

City Councilor Weir commented, “We have to be careful about giving away density.” She was concerned that this would set a precedent and more developers would ask for lower density.

Mayor Tom Crosby agreed with Weir.

The council and Cavanaugh also discussed potential ways for preserving trees on the northwest corner of the site and whether the developer would need to reserve 2.2 acres on the eastern part of the property for a park.

City Councilor Jeff Pederson said Medina’s park plan calls for a 10-acre park in this area. The 2.2 acres on the RPC property was intended to be part of this park.

The City Council then directed the Park Commission to look at the concept plan and discuss the size of a potential park in this area.



The City Council also:

LEARNED that William Kroll has withdrawn his application for a gun club license for his family shooting events.

WENT into closed session to discuss on-going litigation pertaining to Woodridge Church.

CALLED for a special City Council meeting for the 2013 budget at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4.

DISCUSSED the Elm Creek Watershed Management Plan.

ACCEPTED Jean Beaupre’s resignation from the Park Commission.