Champlin seeks alternatives to allow auto electronics installation business to set up shop

The Champlin City Council directed staff to work on an alternative that would allow a business to operate an auto electronics installation business at 12322 Business Park Boulevard. The request came as a response to a request by applicant Jeremy Jacobson during a previous council meeting open forum.

The site owned by Jacobson is currently zoned C-2 and does not permit auto-related use.

City Planner Scott Schulte explained the city has made a concerted effort to limit or restrict auto related uses in certain areas of the city in order to preserve those areas for more preferred uses. He mentioned the three additional sites the city council considered earlier this year as locations they may support additional auto related uses. However, Jacobson’s site is not one of them.

While the council could rezone the location for auto related use, Schulte suggested there may be other options the council could explore.

These included establishing an interim use ordinance to support temporary use of the site for this manner. Another suggestion was to create a planned unit development (PUD) overlay zone to support the use. A PUD typically includes a sunset clause.

The third suggestion was to amend the auto related use provisions by defining automobile aftermarket services as separate  use while providing allowances for them in the C-2 zoning district.

The report prepared by Schulte cited that “staff was reluctant to support further exploration particularly given the property history;” however, council consensus was to see what could be done to support this particular use at this site.

All four council members and the mayor spoke of trying to support Jacobson’s ability to do business in Champlin. Due to the nature of the business being an aftermarket business that doesn’t deal with engine repair, oil and other typical auto use issues, the council members view Jacobson’s electronics installation as a possible exception.

“I’d like to see staff figure out how to get him in Champlin,” said Council Member Eric Johnson.

Champlin’s newest council member, Ryan Karasek, also weighed in stating he’d like to “encourage more business in any way we can do it.”

Staff will work to find a suitable alternative and present it to the planning commission before bringing it back to the council.

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