By Megan Hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
The Champlin City Council met Monday to discuss the changes to the preliminary plat of a development involving the construction of 101 single-family homes located in northwest Champlin to be called the Reserve at Elm Creek.
Furthermore, the city’s Environmental Resource Commission awarded “Mini-Grants” to girl scout troops and Jackson Middle School to conduct educational projects and awarded four residents with “Landscaping for Water Quality” grants which will allow for construction of rain gardens on residential properties. The city awards these grants to improve water quality within the city and to enhance environmental learning.
Reserve at Elm Creek
Gonyea Companies has submitted plans to develop 101 lots in north west Champlin.
Formerly, the development involved a private community club house and outdoor pool, but because of economic reconsiderations, the developer elected to eliminate that amenity and replace it with another residential lot. The development also includes a large excavated pond to the east which will, most likely, support a fish population. The project includes trails and cul-de-sacs that wind through the “L-shaped” development. The development also includes landscaping, lighting and signs that are required by the city.
Councilor Bruce Miller expressed his concerns regarding the entrance of the development. He wanted to make sure that emergency vehicles were easily able to access all areas of the development in a quick and efficient manner. He was assured by the developer that the streets will be wide enough for these vehicles to access each property if necessary.
Councilor Ryan Karasek expressed his concerns regarding the removal of the club house and pool. He said that he was not supportive of this change and that the removal of the club house and pool would negatively impact the value of these homes and take away from the amenities home buyers have.
The project was approved by Mayor ArMand Nelson and Councilors Bruce Miller, Eric Johnson and Kara Terry. Councilor Ryan Karasek voted against the preliminary plat as amended.
Through the Environmental Resource Commission (ERC), the city awards two types of environmental grants, the “Mini-Grant,” which is awarded to schools and community organizations for environmental education and environmental projects, and the “Landscaping for Water Quality Grant Program,” which is used by homeowners and businesses to develop rain gardens using plants native to Minnesota. Rain gardens have been proven to improve water quality.
A total of $2,500 is designated for the Mini-Grant program and $2,000 for the Landscaping for Water Quality Grant. Grant amounts were presented to various groups and residents in the city that plan to conduct educational water quality projects and create rain gardens on their property to improve water quality in the city.
The ERC awarded $150 to Girl Scout Troop 13601 for their “Growing Local” project. The troops will grow plants to be sold locally in the community. Their project focuses on the benefits of locally grown produce and includes public information on the advantages of growing and selling locally.
The ERC also awarded eighth grade students at Jackson Middle School with $950 to plant trees, expand their butterfly habitat garden and build bird houses that are native to Minnesota. The project also includes the clean-up of the park spaces that the bird houses would be located in.
And lastly, four residents in Champlin were awarded $500 to build rain gardens on their properties. This grant is to offset the cost of plant materials, soil amendment, soil and mulch for the gardens. Julie Zdrazil, Peter and Brenda Turok, Kathleen Daniels and Jeff Wolman were presented with this grant at Mondays meeting.
The city council also:
RESPONDED to a resident’s concern at the previous council meeting regarding the ownership of chickens in a residential area. City Planner Scott Shulte responded to these concerns The current city ordinance restricts ownership of chickens in the city, but the city is considering allowing residents to own chickens assuming they acquire a permit. Due to a handful of questions Shulte has received regarding this issue, the ordinance of ownership of chickens may be further discussed and reviewed for possible change.
HEARD a concern from resident Dave Shaefbauer regarding the addition of usable pickleball courts in Champlin. Shaefbauer requested that the city look into park funds for the potential addition of a pickleball court in one of the city’s parks. Parks Manager Charles Lehn added that this is on the city’s scope of interest and if funds allow, the addition of a court is a possibility in the future.
HEARD a presentation from District Chief Todd Schewe regarding the 2013 fire department annual report.
LISTENED to an overview of the work session discussion regarding mill pond fishery restoration and habitat improvement project.
APPROVED a temporary liquor license for the Champlin Park Baseball Association for Father Hennepin Festival Events.
APPROVED a license for the sale of consumer fireworks at Target and Cub Foods.
APPOINTED a part-time community service officer.
READ the second reading amending an ordinance regarding fees that will create a street utility fee.
APPROVED a conditional use permit to install an electronic message center sign at Summit Wellness Center.
City Hall will be closed Monday, May 26 for the Memorial Day holiday. The next Champlin City Council work session discussion is Tuesday, May 27 at 5:45 p.m. in the council conference room and the council meeting will follow immediately after at 7 p.m. in the council chambers.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]