BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Many steps need to be taken to carry out the implementation of improvements on the Delano Public Schools campus. Delano City Council approved one of those steps Tuesday: approving a zoning request for a conditional use permit and planned unit development stage plan.
In doing so, the council levied several conditions. City Planner Alan Brixius walked the council through those conditions before approval.
Brixius explained that the district’s preliminary plat combines 12 different lots into one parcel about 120 acres in size.
A major concern of the Planning Commission is drainage, he said.
“This will require the dedication of drainage and utility easements in the swamp areas . . . The wetlands, ponds, and drainage areas, we require those areas to be put into a drainage and utility easement,” Brixius said.
In-ground water storage will be utilized to manage drainage. A maintenance agreement for those storage tanks will also be required.
Areas that have steep slopes will need to be landscaped in a natural fashion, and a landscape plan detailing how those areas will be cared for and restored will be required.
Regarding the district’s landscaping plan overall, additional landscape screening will be required to reduce headlight glare from the south parking lot.
“Otherwise, the landscape screening is very plentiful,” Brixius said.
Trees proposed within a water main easement will also need to be moved.
Regarding traffic, the district will need to provide a narrative description of morning and afternoon traffic flows, specifically related to bus traffic and vehicles dropping off and picking up students.
Also related to buses, Brixius said buses have been using a fire lane on the west side of the high school. The district is being asked to repair that fire lane and have it used exclusively as a fire lane in the future.
Parking was also a consideration.
“The next element is a parking count that shows they exceed the required number of parking (stalls) by ordinance, but in the past, we’ve had issues with students parking in residential neighborhoods on Elm Street,” Brixius said. “We’re asking that they provide proof of parking and a narrative about parking so if there are issues, we have a program for working through and solving that issue.”
In addition, the planning commission found that the district has the appropriate parking stall dimensions and the correct number of disability parking stalls.
Because the intermediate school bus loop will be available for event parking, the city is asking the district to add more lighting there, as well as more lighting of the pedestrian ways.
A final condition is for the addition of a proper crosswalk at the intersection of Tiger Drive and Wright County Road 30.
The council approved the preliminary plat and PUD with minimal discussion.
“I feel you have done a lot of work on it, so I won’t second guess you,” Councilwoman Betsy Stolfa said.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved about $20,740 in special assessments for private sanitary sewer construction work completed as part of the 2016 infrastructure project. Six property owners opted for a yearly assessment plus 2 percent interest over 10 years. There were also two deferred assessments: one with 4 percent interest payable after 10 years, and one with 4 percent interest payable after 20 years.
• approved readdressing the Delano Theatre from 4423 US Hwy. 12 SE to 803 Babcock Blvd. W and the renaming of 72nd Street SE to Litchfield Avenue West, after one of the founders of Delano, as is the longstanding practice. The council also approved setting a public hearing at a public safety committee meeting regarding changing the northern section of County State Aid Highway 30 to Litchfield Avenue East. Council members expressed concern about the difficulty an address change presents for some property owners and that the two Litchfield avenues do not line up.
• approved the vacation of a portion of Seventh Street and conveyed city-owned portions of Seventh Street to LBJ Enterprises, LLC and Frank Blackowiak/Ferrellgas, LP. Those parcels will then be conveyed to Industrial Louvers Incorporated to allow for Industrial Louvers to complete an expansion. Both the vacations and conveyances were related to the Seventh Street realignment project in 2007.
• authorized public works employees to complete storm water and alley drainage improvements at 234 River St. The city had advertised for bids, and received two, but determined it would be more cost-effective to have public works employees do the work. The city has purchased about $5,000 in supplies for the improvements. The quotes the city had received ranged from $20,050 to $30,865.
• learned about the American Legion, which was established nationally in 1919, and locally in 1924, as Post 377. The Legion is based on the four pillars of veteran affairs, national security, Americanism, and children and youth, and devotes a lot of time and energy to those pillars at the local level.