St. Michael: Don’t open west to large lots

No wake zone for Beebe Lake

The St. Michael City Council made it clear: don’t open western St. Michael for large lot development … yet.

The council also heard an update about Beebe Lake high water levels, and took action on other issues.



Staff noted that the July planning commission meeting was rescheduled due to the July 4 holiday.

One of the items for discussion at the planning meeting was allowing large lot development on the west side of St. Michael. Mayor Jerry Zachman and councilors Kevin Kasel, Nadine Schoen, Joe Marx and Chris Schumm discussed the criteria and agreed it does not make sense for the city to open development up to allow for large lots without water and sewer access at this time.

Staff said it would relay the discussion to the planning commission.



In other news, city administrator Steve Bot told the council that the water level on Beebe Lake has continued to rise with heavy rainfalls, and that the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has new rules allowing cities to place temporary a No Wake ordinance over the entire lake for up to 30 days.

Bot also said Wright County passed a no wake ordinance within 300 feet of shoreline on Lake Charlotte. The council unanimously adopted an ordinance establishing an emergency 5 mph no wake zone on Beebe Lake.

In related matters, Bot said the Beebe Lake Association asked about emergency pumping of the lake, as was done in 2012 to speed up the flow of water downstream.

A Beebe Lake Study done last year identified three phases for a project that would provide long-term solutions to the water level issues. Phase 1 was a drawdown of the lake an additional six inches last fall.

Bot asked the council if it would consider temporary pumping again or if the city should start on Phases 2 and 3, which would include assessing benefitting property owners.

In discussing the options, the council noted that this year is hard on water levels all over, so even if Phases 2 and 3 were complete, there would likely still be issues on Beebe Lake.

The council agreed to have staff obtain a proposal from engineers to submit for a DNR flood grant and to move forward with Phases 2 and 3.

It was noted that some temporary pumping may be needed to move ahead with the additional phases, and the council said not to start pumping until those phases are progressing.

Bot said pumping couldn’t happen now with the higher levels downstream, but that he would work with the engineers on proposals for moving ahead with a more permanent solution.

In other action, the council:

SET a joint meeting with the cities of Albertville, Hanover and Monticello for Monday, June 30, at 6 p.m. at the St. Michael council chambers to discuss public transit in Wright County. A deadline to join a transit Joint Powers Agreement is Aug. 1.

HEARD from city attorney Dave Lenhardt that the attorney for Riverside Church has responded to a letter, sent by the city two weeks ago, stating the church intends to file an application to request the city amend its zoning code to allow a church in the commercial zoning district.