Herald JournalHerald Journal, June 27, 2005

Winsted council OKs Sheehan’s second site plan

By Ryan Gueningsman

After a failed first attempt, it looks like Dr. Tim Sheehan is going to be building a new chiropractic clinic after all – just not in the downtown area.

Sheehan received approval Tuesday night at the Winsted City Council meeting to rezone property at 211 and 219 Baker Avenue on the southern side of Winsted from high density residential and industrial to highway commercial in order to build a chiropractic office facility.

The planning commission recommended approval of Sheehan’s latest site plan with several minor stipulations having to be met – including seeing landscaping and tree plans for the east and west property lines, distinguishing the east property line, seeing a clarification of traffic flow, a dumpster enclosure location, and a drainage pattern for the site.

There is currently a shed located on the property that the planning commission requested be moved due to the fact it would not conform with the new zoning, but City Administrator Brent Mareck said there is not a maximum size for such buildings in a highway commercial district.

There is a side setback issue that Sheehan is planning on bringing a request to the planning commission for a variance. Mareck noted there is a “minor variance process” that can be followed for the smaller issue.

Property owners at 220 Baker Avenue, the Jorgensons, were present at the planning commission meeting and expressed concerns about the architectural design and proposed building materials for the structure. Although the comments were noted, the current site plan review does not address design standards, Mareck said. No one else had any concerns with the rezoning of the area.

Sheehan recently presented a site plan for a business complex to be located on Second Street South that was denied by the council, which cited egress issues and concerns about the building not being consistent with downtown district zoning.

Blight/public nuisance issues discussed

Following a resident complaint, the city investigated public nuisance/blight concerns at 417 Lake Drive, located in the Winsted on the Lake division.

The city found the yard to be full of noxious weeds with no established yard. It was noted property owners are allowed one year from their certificate of occupancy date to establish their lawn. The certificate for this residence, owned by Anthony Hecker, was issued April 23, 2003.

Following several attempts by the city to contact Hecker, no response was received as of the council meeting. If the property was deemed a public nuisance, the city could tend to the situation by contracting someone to remove the weeds and establish a yard, and then billing Hecker through property taxes.

“What do we do if we lay down sod or seed it and he doesn’t mow it?” asked Council Member Bonnie Quast.

“We’ll deal with it one step at a time,” said City Attorney Fran Eggert, who said he would like some time to research the issue from a legal standpoint to see what can be done.

A consistency factor was also discussed, with Quast noting if the city is going to enforce Hecker to clean up his property, it must also do the same for other property owners that are in violation of the city ordinance.

House relocation requests

While the council tabled a request from P&P Enterprises of Howard Lake to relocate a house to Fairlawn Circle, it gave its go-ahead to an Orono company to relocate a house to the empty lot between 131 and 129 Linden Avenue.

The council tabled the request from P&P so that it may be brought before the planning commission Thursday, July 14.

The second conditional use permit request, from Re-Creations of Orono, called for a 1,102 square-foot home to be brought to the lot, in addition to an attached garage that would be constructed on the lot. The council approved the request, pending the proposed garage size is reduced to allow for correct setbacks, and that the home meets all requirements issued by the building inspector within 60 days of being placed on the property. The owners must also pay for sewer and water connections, upon approval of the city engineer.

There was a question about the actual address of the lot brought up because a lot to the west is 129 Linden Avenue, and the lot to the east is 131 Linden Avenue.

The city will contact Mike Sterner of 131 Linden Avenue, and review the addressing with him, as it appears his address should be 133 Linden Avenue.

“Somewhere along the line, someone missed something,” Eggert said. If Sterner does not want to change his address, it was also discussed the lot where the home is being brought be named with a “half,” such as 129 1/2 Linden Avenue.

Grass Lake Farm second addition plat approved

Final plat approval was given to Bridgeland Development for 37 lots to be known as the Grass Lake Farm’s second addition. The council approved the plat request, providing Bridgeland meets several requirements.

The council asked that Bridgeland require Mallard Avenue be maintained at 40 feet wide, and that all other streets be maintained at 36 feet wide, and that trails be installed as presented in the drawings.

The development company also has to pay all legal and engineering fees directly associated with the project, and has to meet all the recommendations requested by the city engineer.

Odds and ends

In other business, the council:

• approved the installation of a garage door in hangar 38 of the Winsted Municipal Airport. This led to discussion about the use of the east entrance road to the airport, which has been determined needs to remain closed to the public.

The city wished to keep the road in existence to be used for construction equipment that may be doing work at the airport.

It was noted now there is a sign that allows “authorized vehicles only” to travel the road, but no one was certain who was authorized to use the road and who was not. City staff will look into the issue.

• approved a raffle permit for Adult Training and Habilitation to have a raffle at the Blue Note of Winsted Friday, June 24, and approved a dance permit for the Blue Note for July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006.

• met in closed session following its regular meeting to conduct Mareck’s review. The findings of the review will be presented at the Tuesday, July 5 council meeting.

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