BY SUSAN VAN CLEAF
On Wednesday, July 5, the Medina City Council approved amendments to two zoning ordinances – one regulating conservation design developments and the other regulating high density residential developments.
The council also conducted other business during the meeting.
CONSERVATION DESIGN ORDINANCE
After several months of discussion, the City Council approved an amendment to the city’s conservation design zoning ordinance. Under this ordinance, a developer can ask the city to approve a planned unit development that has natural areas preserved in perpetuity for the enjoyment of the public.
In exchange for these conservation easements, the developer can ask for a density bonus that would allow him to construct more homes per acre than are allowed under regular zoning regulations in the Rural Residential and sewered residential districts. An addition to the ordinance provides for conservation design developments in commercial and business zoning districts.
The amended ordinance requires that a lot in a conservation design development in the Rural Residential District must occupy a minimum of two and a half acres.
The minimum land area in a conservation design development must be 40 contiguous acres in the Rural Residential District, 20 contiguous acres in sewered residential districts and 10 contiguous acres in commercial or business districts.
HIGH DENSITY RESIDENTIAL ZONE
The City Council approved an ordinance amendment describing allowable land uses in the R-4 high-density residential zoning district. The council took action in anticipation of Metropolitan Council approval of Medina’s 2040 Comprehensive Plan. City Planner Dusty Finke estimated that the Met Council could approve the plan as soon as February, 2018, if all goes well. That means that Medina’s zoning regulations would need to be in line with the new comp plan by August 2018.
Finke called high-density land use regulations “one of the primary changes” in the new comp plan. Two small corners of Medina are proposed for high-density land use. One in the northeast corner of the city already has development. The second one is a 12-acre property at Highway 12/County Road 29. Two developers are considering construction of memory care/ assisted living facilities, along with related senior housing, in the Highway 12/County Road 29 area.
PETROLEUM TANK REMOVAL
The City Council approved an agreement between the city of Medina and Zahl-Petroleum Maintenance Company of Minneapolis, under which Zahl will remove petroleum tanks located near the old Public Works building behind City Hall. The work will include obtaining soil samples for lab analysis to detect soil pollution, if any exists. The contractor is expected to remove the tanks, clean them and haul them away for disposal between July and September at a cost of $4,956.