Kennel neighbors object
The Hanover City Council unanimously approved an interim use permit for a dog rescue kennel, to the objection of a neighbor.
The Ploetz Interim Use Permit was a consent agenda item. Before approval, councilor Doug Hammerseng sought clarification about the permit, which restricts the residence to only taking care of dogs who are presently located there. In other words, if a dog died, they could not replace the pet. Staff said if the Ploetzes felt a dog was intentionally killed, then they could address the council about that concern.
After approval, during open forum, Ploetz neighbor Bob Roman asked how the council could overrule multiple neighbor concerns, such as how the operation affects property values.
Mayor Chris Kauffman said the council chose to accept the permit because the city’s ordinance is weak with respect to restricting kennels. He said the strict limits on the permit are the best choice the city had.
Councilor Wendy Pinor also said the city’s ordinances are being revised in order to better regulate kennels and other similar issues.
In other matters, the council discussed a Pheasant Run pavement improvement project, and the larger topic of an assessment policy for the entire city.
City engineer Justin Messner presented three scenarios for Pheasant Run, which is located on the Wright County side of the city, north and east of downtown.
Messner said the scenarios describe the amount assessed to residents at 30 percent, 35 percent and 40 percent. He said the cost would include all work needed for the road work as well as ditch and culvert repair.
As there is no curb and gutter at Pheasant Run, councilor Ken Warpula asked what the advantages of curb and gutter would be. Messner said curb and gutter adds structural integrity and keeps water on the street and into a storm sewer, and can add to property values. Administrator Bob Derus also said no curb and gutter means ditches are required, but that the lots at Pheasant Acres are smaller and doesn’t leave much room for the needed ditch.
Messner said any curb would extend the road life.
Derus said a May public hearing would have to be conducted to allow enough time to complete the project before next winter.
Derus also later said that there would be an overall discussion about a city assessment policy.
“We will continue to analyze the level of assessments for road improvements,” he said. “If you want to do the projects, there should be some participation by the property owners. The million dollar question is how much do you assess? We’re trying to establish something we can live with in terms of an assessment policy.”
The council tabled the Pheasant Run scenarios to consider additional feedback.
In other action, the council:
HEARD from resident Arlee Anderson, who is an Emerald Ash Borer (insect) specialist. She has a concern for the city’s ash trees, which the borer destroys, and asked the council to consider implementing a plan. In a related matter, Anderson was also appointed to a vacant position on the city’s park board.
HEARD from volunteer Vonnie Waters about the Aug. 4 annual Hanover Harvest Festival. She hopes to work with the council and staff to gain volunteers in order to keep the festival going strong. She said the Harvest Festival Board meets the third Monday of each month.
APPROVED elimination of the position of grounds keeper.