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National Police Week

Post Date:05/09/2021 2:00 AM

This week is National Police Week. The last year has been a challenging one for all law enforcement officers in the State of Minnesota.  As your Chief, I want to say thank you to the residents of Prior Lake and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux communities. 

Throughout 2020, hundreds of you have stopped by the Prior Lake Police Department to say thank you and show your support.  Some examples of these acts of kindness were, artwork from your children, groups sewing masks for our officers, providing health and wellness services, dropping off pastries, cookies, and healthy treats, or just simply saying you have been thinking about us!   

Policing in America has never been easy.  We derive our authority from the people.  We have always and will always accept this mandate as we continue to serve.  As the public debate continues about what society wants our police officers to do, who we want our police officers to be, these visits and gestures of kindness are an outward expression by all of you which say thank you and we value your service.

This means more than you will ever know to each of us!

Thank you,

Steve Frazer, Prior Lake Chief of Police

Please read more at the link below:

https://www.newsbreakapp.com/n/0ZhLrCwR?pd=08FPFjw6&lang=en_US&s=i0

The for-profit national home builders want a one-size fits all approach in Minnesota’s 850 cities and 1,700 townships. That is why they are advancing legislation in St. Paul that is a serious threat to the local control entrusted to cities in how they grow.

If losing local control were not bad enough, proposed legislation holds the potential for raising the taxes of residents in growing cities. There are two questions before your legislators:

Who should oversee housing growth? A. The cities. B. The state.

Who should pay for growth? A. National home builders. B. Existing taxpayers.

How are the proposals bad for cities and taxpayers?

Elimination of local control. The national home builders want legislation that encourages duplexes and fourplexes to be built alongside existing single-family homes. Cities want all types of housing; and local controls specify where high density housing is best. Should legislation move forward, local controls and protections would be eroded and the character of single-family neighborhoods would be forever changed with the addition of multifamily units next to single-family homes.

Capping of development fees. Every new home in a city gets connected to water and sewer. In a land of 10,000 lakes, cities have vastly different landscapes which adds to the complexity and cost of infrastructure. The capping of fees would have significant negative implications for cities and taxpayers. If national home builders are successful, cities will either make budget cuts or raise taxes on existing residents to cover the unfunded gap on infrastructure brought by growth.

Building fees based on size vs. valuation. Today, cities use valuation to determine building fees. Valuation makes sense because it recognizes the variation in one home as compared to another. Consider two 1,500 square-foot homes — one has two bathrooms and a basement, the other, one bathroom and no basement. Today’s valuation fee can distinguish between the two homes.

The national home builders want to shift the building fees from valuation to one based on size. If successful, this would be a serious setback to housing affordability for first-time buyers. That buyer would find the permit fee on a starter home disproportionately high. Conversely, the higher amenity home would get a break as their fee would be proportionately low. This is neither equitable nor fair, especially when you consider the low supply of affordable housing.

Let your legislators know what their answers should be to the questions facing them (hopefully, you believe, as I, that the answer to both questions is “A”).

There is no time like the present, legislators need to hear from you today. Please tell them to leave local controls in place and make national home builders pay for the growth they bring!

Prior Lake City Council

Prior Lake Planning Commission

Please read more at the Prior Lake American:

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/prior_lake_american/news/opinion/letters_to_the_editor/letter-proposed-legislation-is-a-threat-to-local-control/article_c36155d8-0fbc-5c17-a4df-41af1d1dc70c.html

Folks, I added a link below for you to easily find who your representatives are. Just add, your Enter Address, City, State, and Zipcode

Any questions, please ask in the comment section below the post and we’ll respond in a timely manner.

Thanks

John K. Siskoff

Who Represents Me?

https://www.gis.leg.mn/iMaps/districts/

By Bill Mars Guest columnist Apr 7, 2021

The for-profit National Home Builders want a one size fits all approach in Minnesota’s 850 cities and 1,700 townships. That is why they are advancing legislation in St. Paul that is a serious threat to the local control entrusted to cities in how they grow.

If losing local control were not bad enough, proposed legislation holds the potential for raising the taxes of residents in growing cities.

There are two questions before your legislators:

Who should oversee housing growth? A. The cities. B. The state.
Who should pay for growth? A. National Home Builders. B. Existing taxpayers.
How are the proposals bad for cities and taxpayers?

Elimination of local control. The NHBs want legislation that encourages duplexes and fourplexes to be built alongside existing single-family homes. Cities want all types of housing; and local controls specify where high density housing is best. Should legislation move forward, local controls and protections would be eroded, and the character of single-family neighborhoods would be forever changed with the addition of multifamily units next to single-family homes.

Capping of development fees. Every new home in a city gets connected to water and sewer. In a land of 10,000 lakes, cities have vastly different landscapes which adds to the complexity and cost of infrastructure. The capping of fee(s) would have significant negative implications for cities and taxpayers. If NHBs are successful, cities will either make budget cuts or raise taxes on existing residents to cover the unfunded gap on infrastructure brought by growth.

Building fees based on size vs. valuation. Today, cities use valuation to determine building fees. Valuation makes sense because it recognizes the variation in one home as compared to another. Consider two 1,500-square-foot homes. One has two bathrooms and a basement, the other, one bathroom and no basement. Today’s valuation fee can distinguish between the two homes. The NHBs want to shift the building fees from valuation to one based on size. If successful, this would be a serious setback to Housing Affordability for first-time buyers. That buyer would find the permit fee on a starter home disproportionately high. Conversely, the higher amenity home, would get a break as their fee would be proportionately low. This is neither equitable nor fair especially when you consider the low supply of affordable housing.

Let your legislators know what their answers should be to the questions facing them. (Hopefully, you believe, as I, that the answer to both questions is “A”!)

There is no time like the present, legislators need to hear from you today. Please tell them to leave local controls in place and make National Home Builders pay for the growth they bring.

Bill Mars is the mayor of Shakopee.

Please Read More At
https://www.swnewsmedia.com/shakopee_valley_news/news/opinion/guest_columns/commentary-local-leaders-know-best-keep-st-paul-out-of-local-housing-affairs/article_4b99a837-b978-5b96-97a3-ff1dc0766d5a.html

By Trinity Carey tcarey@swpub.com Mar 24, 2021

Nine local mayors have sent a letter to Scott and Le Sueur County legislators stating their opposition of housing focused bills proposed this legislative session, which they argue will shift control of growth and development in communities from local to state government.

Prior Lake Mayor Kirt Briggs, Savage Mayor Janet Williams, Belle Plaine Mayor Christopher Meyer, Elko New Market Mayor Joe Julius, Lonsdale Mayor Tim Rud, Montgomery Mayor Thomas Eisert, Jordan Mayor Mike Franklin, New Prague Mayor Duane Jirik, and Shakopee Mayor Bill Mars signed onto the letter which House and Senate majority and minority leaders, Gov. Walz and other local and state officials were cc’d on.

The legislative proposals opposed in the letter are SF915, SF914, SF801 and HF1085. Proponents of the legislation say the initiatives will increase home affordability.

“They’re all about reducing local control, taking decisions away from the cities, away from planning commissions, putting it up at the state level, and also limiting or curtailing certain fees on cities,” Briggs said. “What the impact of that is, it will add cost to the citizens. Just because you reduce the fee doesn’t eliminate a cost. As a matter of fact, it transfers that cost.”

Prior Lake City Manager Jason Wedel and City of Elko New Market Administrator Thomas Terry testified in opposition of SF915, which limits municipal planning and zoning controls, during a March 16 Senate Local Government Policy Committee meeting.

The bill encourages municipalities “to enact public policy to facilitate the development of unsubsidized affordable housing,” by allowing smaller lot sizes for single-family homes, allowing duplexes or fourplexes on lots zoned for single-family homes or allowing mixed use development, it states. The zoning practices are similar to those adopted in Minneapolis.

In his testimony Wedel noted that city comprehensive plans already designate portions of the city for such zoning.

“What this bill does is jeopardizes residents who have already purchased homes in our community and expect similar homes to be constructed around them consistent with the city’s comprehensive and zoning plans,” he said. “To suggest this change in land use after they have already made what is likely the single biggest investment they will ever make is not transparent nor equitable.”

Terry stated that legislative mandates and restrictions on cities were not necessary for local municipalities to bring a variety of housing opportunities to communities.

He specifically noted in his testimony actions taken by the Elko New Market city council such as adopting reduced residential lot sizes and an accessory dwelling unit ordinance to provide more affordable housing options.

The letter sent to legislators states proponents of the legislation’s “affordability narrative is false. It lacks data, credibility, and seeing any of these legislative proposals into law would serve to raise taxes on our existing citizens!”

One recipient of the letter was District 55 State Sen. Eric Pratt, R-Prior Lake who said it’s an issue of balancing competing needs.

He’s heard developers argue it’s expensive to build in Minnesota citing permitting fees while cities are concerned the legislation will take away local control.

“I think it’s balancing the needs of a growing community with the needs to make sure that the growing community has its cost of development covered and that those decisions are made locally,” Pratt said, adding that home affordability needed to be looked at as a whole.

“One of the things we try to do in the senate is make sure that we take the feedback from stakeholders on both sides of an issue and what I hear in these letters is that the city officials don’t feel like they’ve had an opportunity to be heard and so this is a bill that probably requires a little extra work,” Pratt said.

Read more at the Prior Lake American:

https://www.swnewsmedia.com/prior_lake_american/news/local-mayors-send-letter-in-opposition-of-housing-related-legislative-initiatives/article_7ae60331-3403-5e95-8806-adbc6a8f4e8f.html

Personal Dock Rentals Prohibited. https://tinyurl.com/yrc5ka6x

BACKGROUND

On November 4, 2019, the Prior lake City Council approved multiple amendments to the City Code related to boat slips and mooring facilities. The primary purposes of the ordi- nance amendments were to clarify language related to person- al boat slip rental and revise the ordinance language related to controlled access lots.

DEFINITIONS

A Personal Boat Slip allows the mooring of five (5) or fewer restricted watercraft allowed for personal use by the owners or tenants of residential riparian lots. A Restricted Watercraft is defined as, watercraft for use on or stored on the public waters except for the following:

• Watercraft 16 feet or less in length which uses no motor or a motor of 10 horsepower or less; and

• Watercraft 20 feet or less in length, which uses no motor and is propelled solely by human power.

PERSONAL BOAT SLIP RENTALS

Personal Boat Slip amendments included, but were not limited to:

• A revision from a maximum of six (6) slips to a maximum of five (5) slips per property.

• A new 10-foot dock setback requirement from the side property line if three (3) or more boat slips exist.

• Language added to clarify all restricted watercraft moored at the lot shall be owned and registered to the owner of property (or immediate family) or property tenant (or immediate family), not both. Immediate family includes the spouse, parents, children and grandchildren (all including step- and foster-) of the owner or tenant or the owner or tenant’s spouse.

• An allowance for a boarder, or boarders, to place a total of one (1) slip, provided the property owner is not using slip(s). If property owner has a slip, then a boarder would not be permitted to have a slip.

• Specific language added to clarify rental of slips is prohibited.

CONTROLLED ACCESS LOTS

A Controlled Access Lot, sometimes referred to as a Homeowner Association Lot, is a riparian parcel of land used as a mooring facility for non-riparian lot owners with access to public waters. Amendments to the Con- trolled Access Lot regulations included, but were not limited to:

• A revision of the boat slip to shoreline ratio from a maximum of one (1) slip per 18.75 feet of shoreline to one (1) slip per 40 feet of shoreline.

• A revised way to measure shoreline from the previous method of measuring the contour of the ordinary high-water level (OHW) to the current, which is the lesser of the contour at the OHW or a straight line between where the two side lot lines intersect with the OHW.

• A requirement that shoreline counted in the boat slip ratio must be usable (no wetlands, marsh, bog, etc.)

• A requirement that land counted toward in the shoreline length must abut or lie within 10 feet of navigable water.

• Language requiring watercraft to be owned and registered to owners or tenants in the subdivision or their immediate family. Immediate family includes the spouse, parents, children and grandchildren (all including step- and foster-) of the owner or tenant or the owner or tenant’s spouse.

• Language added clarifying rental of slips is prohibited.

NOTICE

It is not the intent of this ordinance amendment to affect the operation of any current legally existing HOA controlled access lot. All legally existing controlled access lots would be allowed to continue as they are currently approved. Legally existing dock systems can still be maintained, and configurations can change with city approval; however, the number of slips cannot be increased.

Please note, this is a summary of the approved ordinance and does not include all City Code amendments. To review the full ordinance, please visit cityofpriorlake.com or contact the Community Development Department at 952-447-9810.