BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Plans are in the works for a new restaurant in Delano.
Tuesday, the Delano City Council unanimously approved Adam King’s application to expand the former Delano Hair Design building at 725 Babcock Blvd. E. to accommodate The King’s House Restaurant and Bar.
While the focus was on the logistics of the site and the building, King did say the menu would include steak, fresh seafood, and fresh pastas, with an emphasis on fresh ingredients and dishes made from scratch.
“Less is more, as long as less is really good,” said King, who worked in restaurants for 36 years before deciding to open one himself.
One thing King said he needs more of is space. He proposed expanding the footprint of the building from 2,853 square feet to 3,312 square feet, of which 2,312 square feet will be restaurant space and 1,000 square feet will remain office space.
In order to allow that expansion, the council approved a side yard setback variance, as well as a variance to allow building materials not listed as approved for a restaurant in that location.
Another thing King would like more of is outdoor dining space, and the council agreed to meet in a work session to discuss increasing the maximum amount of outdoor dining space at restaurants, bars, and breweries, noting that at least one other business would also like an increase. Currently, the maximum for outdoor space is 30 percent of indoor space, and council members asked City Planner Alan Brixius to compare that to other cities’ ordinances.
In order to accommodate delivery truck traffic through the site, an access will be added on Seventh Street South, and Brixius will be working with the Minnesota Department of Transportation to move the Highway 12 access to the east, where it could potentially be shared with the neighboring property in the future.
Drainage concerns were raised during a planning commission public hearing, and those concerns have been addressed, Brixius said.
Industrial Louvers expansion
Industrial Louvers, at 511 Seventh St. S., had previously announced plans to add 40,000 square feet to its facility and 11 new jobs over the next two years. Those plans have expanded to more than 65,000 square feet in additions, including 41,999 square feet of manufacturing space; 16,332 square feet of warehousing space; and 6,987 square feet of office space.
The council approved the site and building plan review, the replatting of the site to combine six parcels, and the rezoning of two residential parcels to industrial zoning.
There is currently a residential access on Highway 12 that will be converted to a one-way entrance for truck traffic, pending MnDOT approval, Brixius said.
Brixius also said water service will be extended to provide fire prevention for Industrial Louvers, Landscape Structures, and the eastern portion of Carousel Motors.
Additional landscaping or fencing will be added along the Babcock Circle cul de sac.
Highland Ridge Hills Fourth Addition
An additional 15 single-family lots will be added to Highland Ridge Hills, as the council approved the final plat for its fourth addition and variances for two lots that do not conform to current standards, but conformed to standards when the preliminary plat was approved in 2005.
The addition, requested by Otto Associates and Lennar Corporation, will include the extension of Franklin Avenue and a connection into Clover Springs.
It will also include Highland Ridge Park, which will be paid for by park-dedication funds, graded by the applicants’ contractor, and will be linked to Clover Springs Park via trails and sidewalks.
Storm sewer design is currently under revision, pending review and approval.
Sheriff’s report and recognitions
The council received the Wright County Sheriff’s Office 2016 activity report after recognizing a resident and deputy for their responses to a Feb. 13 fire.
Cheryl Vonberge reported the fire at 8177 County Line Rd. SE.
Deputy Caleb Gregoire was the first responder who pulled the homeowner, Todd Moe from the burning house.
“He had heard a voice, gone in, couldn’t make entrance all the way, came back out, got a breath of air, and went back in and was successful,” Delano Fire Chief Bob Van Lith said. “Good job. That’s what we’re here for tonight.”
The report showed that the contract provides 16 hours of coverage per day at a cost of $69.50 per hour, or about $405,879 for the year, up about 3.4 percent from $67 per hour and $392,352 total in 2016. In 2015, Delano’s cost was $376,680, or about $66.62 per capita, compared to an average per capita cost of $188.89 in eight comparable Minnesota cities that have their own police departments.
WCSO received 3,531 calls for service in Delano, resulting in 2,009 case reports.
Looking at crimes, the crime rate has gone down from 263 incidents in 2013, to 201 in 2016, which is consistent with the rest of the county.
“Crime in the county is slightly trending down,” Captain Dan Anselment said. “Some calls for service are going up, deputies seem to be busier, but crimes are going down.”
Investigators were assigned to 52 cases in Delano in 2016.
Anselment encouraged residents to lock their homes and vehicles and keep items out of plain view in vehicles to prevent “crimes of opportunity.”
He concluded by saying the sheriff’s office would like to have a workshop with city representatives.
“It has been about 10 years since we adjusted the contract hours,” Anselment said. “Do we need to add or change anything? Are we on the right track? Do we have everything covered that we need covered? Growth was put on hold. Now, a lot is starting to happen again. We always want to stay a little ahead of the game. We never want to play catchup. We want to make sure we have adequate coverage.”
Downtown parking lot
With plans to pave the downtown parking lot behind Dave’s Town Club in April, the council voted 3-0, with Mayor Dale Graunke and Councilwoman Holly Schrupp abstaining, to approve a request to Delano Municipal Utilities to move two transformers from the alley.
Graunke abstained from discussing or voting on the matter because he owns four properties surrounding the lot. Schrupp said she abstained because she was not at the last meeting between the council and the Delano Water, Light, and Power Commission, and did not have enough information.
City Administrator Phil Kern said one transformer would be moved to the northwest corner of the lot, while another would be moved to a median.
He said the cost for the move is about $12,000, plus labor costs for DMU staff to complete the project.
Per Schrupp’s request, discussion of widening the parking lot median was added to the agenda for a special work session at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 28.
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• recognized library services coordinator Carol Plocher for nearly 25 years of service to the Delano Public Library.
• approved the purchase of seven workstation computers from Five Technology, of Delano, for about $13,444. The city had budgeted up to $14,000 for two computers for the fire department, and one each for the motor vehicle department, senior center, community services, administration, and finance.