Albertville recognizes outgoing plan commissioner Frank Kocon

Appoints Mark Barthel who lost council seat by coin flip

The Albertville City Council presented long-term planning commissioner Frank Kocon with a plaque recognizing his years of service.

The council also approved a lot split ahead of prospective business development near the Outlet Mall.



Planning commissioner Kocon is stepping down after serving the commission for 10-plus years, including as chairperson.

City administrator Adam Nafstad commended Kocon for his dedication to service.

“He gets his (agenda) packet way ahead of time, looks at the site, talks to neighbors and shows up with all the facts and figures,” Nafstad said. “Never once did he not go visit the site in advance of the meeting.”

Nafstad credited Kocon for his focus on amenities and outdoor parks, as well as being “very pro business.”

“(Kocon) was a treat to work with, “ he said. “He was an advocate for the small town atmosphere and saw a lot of change in 10-plus years.”

Kocon also volunteered for city elections and “was active in the community all around. You won’t fine a nicer guy,” Nafstad said.

The planning commission reviewed three applications to replace Kocon and recommended appointing former city councilor and park board member Mark Barthel. Barthel lost the recent city council election by a coin flip after tying Larry Sorensen for the vote.

Mayor Jillian Hendrickson and the council accepted the recommendation and appointed Barthel to the open planning seat.



In other action, the council approved a lot split agreement for Darkenwald Holdings, ahead of prospective commercial development.

Darkenwald requested a minor subdivision of its 82.18 acres located between Interstate 94 and 70th Street north of the Outlet Mall. It is proposed that the parcel be split to create two lots. The proposed Parcel A and Parcel B will be 17.66 acres and 64.42 acres.

The area is zoned commercial B2, which allows for uses like restaurants but is restrictive to uses such as gas stations.

Staff said Darkenwald has not made an application for development, and that prior to development the land will need to be platted, processed and developed according to the city’s zoning and subdivision regulations.

“It’s assumed that it’s part of their financing package for future development,” administrator Nafstad said.