Work Session (Old Village Planned Use)
When the 2030 Comprehensive Plan for the city was created (2008), a rough plan for a vision of the Old Village was placed in chapter 5. Click HERE to take a look. While much of the actual engineering necessary to implement the plan wasn't included, it was a start to coming up with a path to revitalize the area. Plans in general tend to shoot for more than can be achieved, but much of this plan I've always liked.
Cities have 3 tools to bound how land gets used; current zoning map, staging plan, and the land use plan. Current zoning is how properties are currently zoned. If a use meets that zoning, it's allowed. The staging plan allows Ag property to be rezoned/developed if the property is in the current staging time frame (by the way, this is a tool that can help us limit that growth). The land use plan is what the city has in mind when that land is developed / redeveloped. To help implement the Old Village plan, one of the actions taken at the time was to re-guide the land use to mixed use (mixed use is basically a combination of commercial / medium density housing). Other than that, little was done to implement that plan. Back around 2015 an outside group was brought in to look at how Dayton could revitalize itself. That effort, which my family participated in, was called "Dayton By Design" and seemed to have a lot of energy at the time, but little of the outcome was utilized. They also spent some time tweaking the Old Village plan. For some reason, that chapter was completely pulled from the subsequent 2040 comp plan, but the guided use stayed.
Recently, a request was received to purchase and develop a city-owned empty lot in the Old Village. The city council authorized selling of that lot but the administrator at the time (not our current one) placed the advertisement use as current zoning, rather than the planned use/zoning. I'm not sure why that was done, and a few discussions as to the appropriateness of that seemed to go nowhere. That resulted in my request to have a work session and push the council to decide whether we're sticking to the current guided use (and taking action on the earlier plans) or amending the comp plan to abandon the revitalization. The discussion resulted in:
- Restoring the revitalization plan (Maybe not to the 2030 comp plan, but making it clear what plan we're working towards).
- Directing the EDA (which is also tasked with redevelopment) towards more design and implementation details surrounding that plan.
- Finding a way (given some of the various limitations) to allow parts of that development to take place sooner rather than later.
A few months back the Planning Commission and the City Council approved a Conditional Use Permit for Connexus to install a sub station on 117th. As a result of that action many of the residents in the area let council members (myself included) know they were very unhappy with that action.
Approximately 20-30 of the residents came to the meeting and a few of them spoke to some of the issues. Here are some of what I consider key points around this:
- Connexus has owned the property for 17 years.
- Staff believes the developer was aware this would be a sub station in the near future prior to them building.
- The city's land use document does NOT indicate this would be utilities (from what I can tell, there is no such category) but the current zoning map does and according to staff has since 2006.
- Many residents believe the sub station is an eye sore.
- Many residents believe it should be in an industrial area.
- One resident was very clear that when she bought her home she specifically asked staff about this property and was misled as to its future use.
- The sub station has to be placed adjacent to the high-tension lines.
- Dayton has no industrial area adjacent to those lines in the targeted area.
I did ask Staff to look into alternative areas but there aren't many properties that would meet the requirements. At least one land-owner was contacted and turned it down. Connexus doesn't plan on doing any work until this summer so there's still time if an alternative presents itself.
Back when the city did some work on the interchange, I requested that the city use a much larger notification area than is required by law, which is 500 feet. In a rural area, 500 feet can be a handful of properties. Unfortunately those requests result in a deviation from normal procedures and over time get lost. During our discussions on the property, this request came up again. What is likely needed is some form of a check list that the staff follows that exceeds the normal requirements.
Item Q (Administrator Position Direction)
About 6 months ago the council decided to temporarily have our finance director (Zach Doud) act as the Administrator. At some point that temporary position has to either be made permanent or a full time replacement brought in. At least one of the members believed that we need a full time employee in both the Administrative and Finance Director roles. That is not my belief. There was also the concern we need someone with more experience. I have no problem keeping our options open and looking to see what is available. The decision was to advertise for a full time administrator and see what's out there. For the most part I've been pretty satisfied with Zach but this does keep our options open.
Item S (EDA / Old Village Plan)
This was basically a formalization of what was discussed / decided during the work session.
Item T (Official Appointments)
This was to assign various staff and council members to handle liaisons to other committees and groups outside the city.
As always, feel free to contact me with questions or concerns you have.