A few clean up items... Item G below was the only significant item on the agenda.
Unfortunately, the person we offered the planner position to a few weeks back got a better offer with where he was, so back to square one. If you know someone that has experience in zoning codes... The city is looking for a planner AND an assistant planner.
The city will also be posting for an accountant.
Goal setting work session (2 weeks ago)
Typically the council and staff hold a work session to zero in on goals after an election. Here's what I focused on:
We had a lot of development last year (due to prior residential developments approved by previous councils and a LOT of commercial activity) which means more work for city staff and equipment (more costs). However... I believe we should limit spending increases to the revenue we get from that new development.
Next, your property taxes... The amount of property tax you pay is based on the tax rate and your property value. Again this year, many property values went way up and if we keep the tax rate the same, you'll pay more in taxes. So my primary goal is to lower that rate so on average your taxes stay put or decrease. Due to the additional development we will still be able to add staff and equipment to handle the growth.
When you look at your taxes, take into account that there are 3 entities that take tax money; city, county, and school district. Unfortunately the county is taking a LOT more from the outer suburbs (Dayton) due to the decreasing property values in Minneapolis and the inner ring suburbs. When you look at the city portion of your taxes, had the tax rates continued as they were prior to 2021, that number would be roughly 50% more than what you see.
We've done a lot of work to get that rate down (even WITH adding of staff and equipment) and I want to see that stay in control.
Transportation plan update
Finally.... from discussions it sounds like most (if not all) of the council and planning commission are in agreement the Dayton Parkway will get realigned to connect (eventually) to Zanzibar. What's left is the formal work of making the comprehensive plan change.
Land Use plan update
For many reasons (including the realignment above) we need a significant update to our land use plans. While there is agreement on the transportation plan changes, I think changes to land use will have more varied opinions. Regardless, we need changes.
Have I ever mentioned I HATE the toothpaste in our city's logo? How exactly does that say anything about our city? Obviously a low priority...
Item G (Development Moratorium)
Luckily this didn't turn out to be the long drawn out pain it was at the previous meeting. We approved a 6 month development moratorium for many reasons. In reality it's likely nobody even notices it. The area is roughly south of South Diamond Lake Road, west of Elm Creek Park, East of French Lake, and north of 81. A few properties on the north corner of Territorial and 81 were exempted since they've been working on some solution for a couple years now. For the specific area, see the agenda. I personally think this should stay in place until we get some land use changes and processes in place.
These comprehensive plan updates may have a significant impact on our city in the future. If you have opinions / ideas PLEASE get them to me!