BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN Tuesday, the Delano City Council gave a green light to a plan to replace a single-family home that has been converted to office space on a .75-acre lot at 615 Babcock Blvd. with two office buildings.
In order for the project to proceed, the council needed to approve rezoning the lot to B-3 Highway Oriented Business District to allow for a greater percentage of metal exterior finishes on the building than was allowed with the existing zoning. The council also approved a planned unit development to allow two buildings on one site.
Plans call for both buildings to have a reception area, six offices, and a conference room on the main floor; and seven offices and a conference room on the second floor. Both buildings will be 4,864 square feet.
A parking lot with 43 parking stalls, including two handicap stalls will accompany the buildings, which exceeds city requirements of 19 parking spaces per building.
One thing the city cannot control is whether or not the site will be accessible directly off Highway 12. That decision is up to the Minnesota Department of Transportation. If MnDOT does not approve the access, plans would have to be changed to allow for an access off the drive that accommodates Industrial Louvers Inc. When the ILI expansion was approved, one condition was a requirement to share its access with the lot to the east if needed.
In addition to ILI to the south, the property is flanked by Subway to the east and Davis Chevrolet of Delano to the west.
The lot measures 165 feet wide and 200 feet deep. The buildings will be set back from the highway 30 feet, as is required; and 94 feet from the rear property line, which is 74 feet more than what is required; but only 15 feet from the east and west lot lines, which is 5 feet less than what is required. The city planner recommended approving the lesser side yard, and the council followed that recommendation. In exchange for this condition, the applicant must have matching architecture on all four sides of the buildings, as opposed to plainer architecture on the backs of the buildings, as was proposed.
The utility plan for the buildings calls for a single shared utility service into the lot that is split to serve each building. Without individual services to each building, any future subdivision of the lot would be prohibited and would require a common interest community subdivision to allow for private ownership of the buildings but shared ownership of parking, access, utilities, and grounds.
Light the Night
A multi-weekend event titled Delano Light the Night has been proposed for the weekend following Thanksgiving through Christmas weekend at Central Park.
The council approved the city to act as fiscal agent for the event. As donations are collected, the city will hold the money and allow organizers to plan the event accordingly.
Light the Night will feature multiple lighting displays measuring 20 feet by 20 feet that individuals will be able to walk by. Plans also call for concessions to be sold.
Organizers are working with other organizations to bring the idea to fruition.
“There is a lot of energy and great ideas,” City Administrator Phil Kern said. “We’re just trying to take care of the background with logistical things so they can focus on what they’re passionate about doing. The (Delano Area) Chamber (of Commerce) has the tree lighting and the arts council (Delano Area Council for Arts and Culture) has Old-Fashioned Christmas. We’ve had everybody in the same room making sure everybody is complimenting the work everyone is doing to make sure a rising tide raises all boats. Delano Muncipal Utilities is also involved and excited to make this happen.”
Odds and ends
In other business, the council:
• approved authorizing bids for the 2020 street improvement project.
• approved the purchase of a new Freightliner truck from Boyer Trucks and box/plow/sander from Towmaster, which will replace the 2006 Freightliner dump truck public works currently utilizes. The total purchase will be $201,455, which will be paid from the 2020 capital improvement fund. The truck will be delivered in 10 to 12 months.
• approved the 2020 maintenance agreement with the Wright County Highway Department for routine snow and ice control on Wright County Road 17. The city will receive an estimated payment of $3,073.