Medina looks at public works/police site plan

The Medina City Council Tuesday, Jan. 15, looked at a site plan submitted by an unusual applicant — the city of Medina itself.

Just like businesses and residents in the private sector, the city is subject to its own zoning regulations. Medina must comply with them before the city can renovate the newly purchased Clams Corps office/warehouse building at 600 Clydesdale Trail. Medina is proposing to make major changes inside the 64,000 square foot building to accommodate the public works and police departments. The Medina Planning Commission already has reviewed the city’s applications for a site plan review and conditional use permit (CUP) and added recommendations.

On Jan. 15 the City Council directed city staff to draft a resolution approving both the site plan and CUP.

City Planner Dusty Finke explained Medina’s proposed public works/police renovations. They would transform the Clams Corps edifice into a public building. This type of structure would be a conditional use within the Industrial Park zoning district. The former Clam Corps property spans 7.1 acres and has a golf course as its neighbor to the north and northeast, industrial uses to the west and southeast and an existing residential area to the south.

The Planning Commission and City Council in particular looked at a proposed outdoor structure that public works would use for sand and salt storage. The structure would be similar to one located at City Hall — a metal framed affair covered by canvas. Both the commission and council wanted the structure to be screened by vegetation from potential residential neighbors. They also asked that the canvas top be of a color that would blend in with its surroundings.

Restrictions on the salt storage shed would include limiting its use to storage of road materials. The structure must be dismantled after it no longer is being used for this purpose.

Meanwhile, Public Works Director Steve Scherer said he saw no rush to remove the current salt storage shed from the City Hall site. He wanted to experiment with public works crews having access to salt and sand at two geographic locations.

The plan for the interior of the building shows a two-story structure with much of the second story open to the floor below. The rest of the second story is devoted to storage.

The ground floor has areas for a small vehicle garage, materials storage, vehicle maintenance, lube and parts rooms, large vehicle garage, work rooms, offices, men’s and women’s lockers, lunch room, police armory, police evidence and interview rooms, booking and holding rooms for police, evidence garage and police sally port garage.

Planner Finke said changes to the exterior of the current office/warehouse building would consist mostly of removing two dock doors and adding three new ones elsewhere along the loading docks. Office windows would replace the removed dock doors. Pavement for access to the new dock doors would be added.

AIS

The City Council heard a report from Peter Rechelbacher, who is Medina’s representative to the Minnehaha Creek Watershed District. He said the MCWD has earmarked $250,000 to help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS). The enhanced intervention and management plan includes increasing grants for water craft inspections, two roaming inspectors for lakes that do not have ongoing boat inspections and grant funding for boat cleaning stations.

Rechelbacher said 40 different invasive species are potential threats to area lakes and they could be devastated if any of these species take hold. He was especially concerned about hydrilla and quadra mussels. He said hydrilla is so devastating that it puts “Eurasian milfoil” to shame. So far hydrilla has advanced to lakes in Iowa.

Already 140 AIS have been identified in the Great Lakes, and annual AIS costs there have reached $100 million, Rechelbacher said. The fish population has been affected.

Around here AIS could change lakes as we know them, he said. Walleye and bass would be gone. Carp would replace them.

BOARD OF APPEAL

The date of this year’s Board of Appeal and Equalization meeting is 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 10, at Medina City Hall. This is the time for property owners to appeal appraisals on which their property tax bills will be based.

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