Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of August 27, 2018
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 27th day of August, 2018 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.
Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Jarrod Oberg, Mary Hacker and Julie Haar. Also present were Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk, and Ben Oleson, Township Zoning Administrator. As said members formed a quorum and the meeting was called to order by Chairman Steidl at 6:00 p.m.
Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Hacker, made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Haar, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 7/23/2018 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use request submitted by Gwen Schroeder for a workshop and event center.
Public Hearing: Ms. Schroeder and Doug Beyer presented their request to use the former Weston Station building, located at 4417 County Road 82 SE, for hosting DIY workshops, wherein they would provide the supplies and hold classes for various craft workshops. They also plan on utilizing the space as a venue for hosting various events and/or gatherings, such as groom’s dinners, bachelor parties, bridal showers, baby showers, etc. They are considering hosting a vendor event once or twice a year. All food would be catered in, as the kitchen area has been removed, thus negating the option of preparing food onsite.
Zoning Administrator Oleson reported the property is serviced by ALASD. It is already in a business area zoned Commercial – Urban and has been utilized as a restaurant in the past. He noted that there is limited parking space, with room for about 8 – 12 parking spaces with a grassy area in the rear of the property that could potentially be used for parking.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Commissioner Hacker asked about alcohol being served on the premises and if this liability would fall under the caterer’s insurance. Ms. Schroeder responded affirmatively. Chairman Steidl asked if this would be a concern for the town. Oleson said not from a zoning perspective.
Commissioner Haar inquired as to the number of parking spaces available out front. Mr. Beyer stated there were about 17 spots available in front. Ms. Schroeder said they have a temporary reciprocal agreement with UPS and the power washing company (the Krebs property) regarding parking.
Hacker asked Mr. Beyer to further elaborate on the parking spots available. He stated there would be 17 parking spaces in the front on the south side and six on the east side plus the usage of UPS’s and the Krebs’ properties. Haar asked if there were plans to utilize the back area for parking. He said they could, but at the outset it would be used by employees/owners with clientele parking out front. Consensus that parking was determined to not be an issue since it would be along the service road (as opposed to a township road) and the reciprocal agreement with neighboring properties. It was noted that parking was in this same area when the restaurant was in operation.
Fire code and capacity limitations were discussed. Commissioner Oberg said these will be determined by the building code process. He stated that these parameters should be covered by the Certificate of Occupancy, and that all inspections will need to be completed before the certificate is issued.
Commissioner Steinbrecher inquired as to outdoor activities; i.e. utilizing the grassy area in back for gatherings and if that should be a consideration, such as limiting any gathering to indoors only. Consensus limitations were unnecessary due to the fact the property is commercially zoned and the township’s noise ordinance would apply.
Hacker also asked if they were planning to have signage and, if so, would they use the existing signage out front. Ms. Schroeder stated they will keep the existing sign since everyone knows the place as the Weston Station. They would put a banner underneath the Weston Station sign covering over the listed food items. Oleson said the portable sign would be grandfathered in.
Hacker inquired as to the number of events to be held during any given week. Ms. Schroeder indicated 4 – 5/week, presumably in the evenings. She anticipates the hours would vary dependent upon the type of function to be held.
Haar, seconded by Hacker, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use request presented by Gwen Schroeder with no conditions. Roll: Haar – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Oberg – yes, Hacker – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: none
New Business: none
Old Business: none
Adjournment: Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 6:39 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2018
Larry Steidl, Chairman