By Megan Hopps
SUN PRESS Newspapers
Champlin City Council and staff met recently to discuss a lot split on a river front property on Mississippi Drive. Other topics discussed included an agreement with Hennepin County to secure Community Development Block Grant funds, landscaping, trail systems and use of the round about at East Hayden Lake Road and West River Road and reviewed the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area rules.
The city reviewed landscaping, trail and roundabout improvement plans at East Hayden Lake and West River Road. City Engineer Tim Hanson gave an overview of the landscaping design improvements to be completed at the end of the month at the round about intersection. The improvements include the addition of Stella Daylilly, Carousel Little Bluestem and Dwarf Bush Honeysuckle in the center circle of the roundabout.
He added that the vegetation requirements within the circle have height restrictions for sight line reasons.
The city plans to bring this item back for review to accept or deny the bids at the Aug. 25 meeting.
Councilor Ryan Karasek asked about trails and side walks around the area and frontage road.
“Are they’re going to be sidewalks there for the residents to cross the street?” he asked.
“They’re not shown in the landscaping plan, but yes, there will be a trail system that connects through there,” said Engineer Hanson.
Councilor Bruce Miller added, “One of the complaints I’ve received about the roundabouts is that it’s difficult during heavy traffic for pedestrians and bicyclists to get across or through them.”
“They aren’t the most pedestrian friendly,” Engineer Hanson said. “ The nice thing is that residents can cross each lag of approaching traffic one lane at a time.”
“What about signaling?” asked Councilor Miller. “Are we going to have appropriate signs to assist drivers when signaling?”
“We are going to do some type of training on how to properly use roundabouts to help in that matter,” explained Engineer Hanson. “I think people are getting a little better, but you should always try and signal your intentions.”
Mayor ArMand Nelson asked, “What’s the maintenance with the planting in a typical year?”
“The intent was to minimize maintenance,” said Engineer Hanson. “There’s minimal grass to mow, there’s always going to have to be some weeding that needs to be done. That’s a hard question to answer specifically how many hours.”
He added that the area is irrigated and the plants will establish relatively quickly and once they’re established it cuts down on the amount of maintenance.
Residents James Buesing and Jason Kozlowski spoke in open forum regarding a neighbor that would like to make a lot split near their homes. The property requesting a lot split is located on Mississippi Drive. The city is considering amending an ordinance that would allow Buesing and Kozlowski’s neighbor to split his lot and build on it.
“I just found out talking with my neighbor last week that there was a planning session where they were dealing with this whole lot split issue,” said Buesing. “Apparently this has been bouncing around the city for a number of years. I did not get notification of this. The two properties most affected by this had no notice of this. It does economically impact me and I feel I need to stand up for myself in terms of the process and say something got skipped here. So whatever help you and yours could give us would be greatly appreciated.”
Both Buesing and Kozlowski purchased their homes on Mississippi Drive late last year.
The city is considering amending the ordinance that applies to lot splits to allow (the owner) to split lot.
“I was stunned when I found out the ordinance was specifically tailored for this process,” said Buesing. “I don’t know what we can explore in terms of our options.”
“I bought the house across the street from the property that they’re trying to split and when I bought the property I was under the impression that that was an unbuildable lot,” said Kozlowski. “This [ordinance] is being tailor made for this specific lot, he’s asking to remove the trees which involves another ordinance to be waved. It’s going to take away my river views which is one of the reasons I bought my house. This is going to affect the neighborhood quite a bit. If you allow this lot split and bypass current laws, you’re going to take my views away, diminishing my property value, while increasing his.”
No action was taken at this time. This item will be voted on by the council at the Aug. 11 meeting.
The next council work session will convene Monday, Aug. 11, at 5:45 p.m. in the council conference room. The next council meeting will be Monday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. in the council chambers. Citizens interested in running for the city offices of mayor or councilors for wards one and two may file for office with the city clerk during normal business hours at city hall until Aug. 12. The Farmer’s Market will be held every Wednesday through Oct. 8, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the ice forum parking lot.
Contact Megan Hopps at [email protected]