Council prepares to replace zoning rules | News, sports, jobs

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NEW ULM – The City Council of Neu-Ulm is preparing the repeal and replacement of the existing land use regulations from the city regulations.

On Tuesday, the council received the recommendation from the Neu-Ulm Planning Commission to repeal the existing section of the town’s zoning regulations and to adopt a new chapter as the new building regulations for the town.

City officials have been working on creating this new zoning ordinance since 2008, and will replace a code created in the late 1960s.

The new ordinance was created as a separate document and is more user-friendly than the document it replaces on the land use ordinance. The building regulations are divided into 13 chapters. The first chapter is introductory. Chapter two deals with identifying the application process. Chapters three through eight deal with land use districts. The ninth chapter is land use standards. Chapter 10 develops standards and is divided into 12 sections. Chapter 11 deals with nonconformities. Chapter 12 is about enforcement and Chapter 13 is about rules and definitions.

Community Development Director David Schnobrich said the new ordinance will be larger than the ordinance it replaces. The new regulation is about three times longer.

The employees tried to make this regulation more user-friendly than the previous regulation. Schnobrich said much of the information in the new regulation was carried over from the previous document, but staff have included updating the code and addressing land use issues that may arise in the future.

Alderman Larry Mack said the ordinance was a lot of work from the staff and the planning committee. One of the reasons the ordinance took a long time, Mack said, was the need for solar and wind energy ordinances. Many things have changed in the way parishes have been built since the city began drafting the new regulations.

Mack said the city must now work to enforce the new ordinance. This will take significant manpower time as the regulation will change the way some property owners can use their property.

The council has received the new building code regulation and will consider the first permit during the city council meeting on January 18th. City Manager Chris Dalton asked the council to bring any questions about the regulation to the city staff before the meeting in order to resolve any issues.

City Councilor Les Schultz asked for the most important changes and additions to the regulation to be discussed at the next meeting in order to inform the public.

This city code change requires two considerations before being approved. The first consideration will take place during the January 18th session. The second exam is expected to take place in February.

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The council convened the various city commissions annually. Councilor Les Schultz will serve as vice-president of the council, a representative on the cable communications advisory board, and a representative of the Economic Development Authority (EDA).

Council member Larry Mack will act as council representative in the Reinvest in New Ulm (RENU) planning committee.

Councilor David Christian will serve as Council Representative on the Heritage Preservation Commission and the Park and Recreation Commission.

Councilor Eric Warmka will serve as Council Representative in RENU and on the Personnel Committee.

Council President Andrea Boettger will act as the Council’s representative in the EDA and in the Personnel Committee.

The council also approves Mayor Terry Sveine’s nominations to commissions. Vickie Tambornino was reappointed to the Cable Communication Advisory Board and Paul Johnson was appointed.

Jordy Veit was reappointed to the Energy Awareness Commission.

Deb Zahn and Jeannie Leighty were reappointed to the Heritage Preservation Commission.

Jyneal McCrea and Aaron Kosola were appointed to the Human Rights Commission. Casey McMullen was re-appointed.

Carl Zeidler was reappointed to the library council and Vince Bourgault was appointed.

Dale Gluth was reappointed to the Monuments & Cemetery Commission and Jim Lamecker was appointed.

Cate Macho and Ashley Aukes were reappointed to the planning committee

Sean Fingland and Shannon Hillesheim were reappointed to the Public Utilities Commission.

Deb Kaehler was appointed to the security commission. Chris Vorwerk was appointed to fill the unexpired term of William Skar, who stepped down in June. A third appointment must be made.

Jeremy Reed and Steve Balza were reappointed to the Sister Cities Commission. A third appointment is to be filled.

Tom Romaine was reappointed to the tree commission.

No appointments have been made to the Economic Development Authority (EDA), but one seat remains open.

Anyone interested in serving in the EDA, Sister Cities, or the Security Officer is encouraged to contact Mayor Terry Sveine.

The council approved a grant application to the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) on behalf of the Hope Housing Foundation.

The Hope Housing Foundation reached out to the city with a potential workforce housing project. The original project would consist of a three story building with 27 units that would be a net zero or net zero finished construction. The project cost is estimated at $ 6 million.

Hope Housing is asking the city to apply for MFH to help with funding. The grant is $ 400,000. When New Ulm is awarded the scholarship, there will be $ 200,000 in compensation provided through tax exemption or tax increase funding.

City manager Chris Dalton said the area is in dire need of labor housing to bring more workers into the city who work in factories.

This will be a competitive grant process with many communities competing for the money.

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The council has set the public hearing on utilities, streets and alleys improvements 2022 for Tuesday 1st February 2022.

The hearing would cover the seven projects.

The first is Jacobs Street and Somsen Street Utility and Lane Extension.

The second is to improve German Street from 7th N. to 12th N.

The third is to improve the alleys from 7th South to 8th South between Payne Street and Jefferson Street.

Fourth is the improvement of the alley from 14th north to 15th north between Garden and Payne.

Fifth is the improvement of the alley from 8th North to 9th North between Garden and Payne.

Sixth, the plumbing repairs are on 19th North at the intersection of State Street and line the manhole on 1st South and Broadway.

Seventh, the concrete sidewalk and ADA pedestrian ramp improvements will be determined at locations.

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The council approved a payment to the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) of $ 1,695.50 for the CGMC Environmental Action Fund. This is an annual payment. The city and the municipal utility commission shared the costs and the contribution to this fund for the past five years. The total cost is $ 3,391.

This fund is used by cities to solve regulatory problems as a group. CGMC uses a neutral science-based organization comprised of water treatment operators in Minnesota to help provide data that is used to comply with environmental regulations.

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