By Megan Hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The Dayton City Council approved amendments to various city ordinances regarding the Mississippi River Corridor, natural screening, and tree preservation as it relates to new developments in Dayton. The council also approved the preliminary and final plat of French Lake Meadows and entered a joint powers agreement with the city of Champlin regarding the maintenance of Goose Lake Road.
City staff prepared updates to three ordinances pertaining to the Mississippi River Corridor, landscaping and screening and tree preservation and replacement.
The changes to the Mississippi River Corridor ordinance mostly dealt with the language used in city documents. In summer 2012 city staff prepared updates to the ordinance based on legislation that was passed removing reference to Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. This ordinance amendment was approved by the planning commission and city council and is required to be reviewed and approved by the DNR.
The reference to the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was removed, an addition of minimum lot size requirements was added as well as an introduction of new zoning districts within the area. Staff forwarded these changes to the DNR where staff requested further changes. After making these changes, the city has accepted the changes to this ordinance.
The old language in the city ordinance regarding landscaping and screening states there must be a “reasonable attempt” to preserve trees during a development project. The council worked to clarify this language. It now provides a list of species of trees that should not be included in landscaping plans, particularly invasive species. This amendment now requires all new underground sprinkler systems to include rain sensors, and includes requirements for screening and buffering on non-residential uses that border residential developments.
The changes to the ordinance pertaining to tree preservation and replacement include a removal threshold. The current ordinance requires all significant trees to be preserved or replaced; however, development calls for tree removal. The city is placing regulations on the amount of trees that can be removed. Staff has amended the ordinance so that developers can only remove up to 30 percent of the total inches of significant trees. Any removal beyond that will require reforestation. In non residential districts, 50 percent may be removed.
This only includes significant trees, not invasive species of trees. Planning commission reviewed these changes and suggested that “significant trees” does not include coniferous trees as these are difficult to preserve with development and a better solution is to plant new species.
The ordinance was passed without the planning commissions changes.
• AT&T would like to collocate another antenna to an existing tower on Fernbrook Lane.
• The city approved the preliminary and final plat of French Lake Meadows, six new homes located in southwest Dayton near French Lake.
• The city of Dayton entered into a joint powers agreement with the city of Champlin regarding street maintenance of Goose Lake Road.
• The city is currently looking for a seasonal public works employee to assist in Public Works duties such as mowing and park maintenance.
• Dayton resident Elsie Stephens has died. The city owns a portion of her farm and it will be developed as a park in her honor.
• The Dayton fire fighters dance is Saturday, April 26, at Daytona Country Club.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]