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Minutes of the Workshop Meeting of March 18, 2010

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City Manager Arneson asked if the memorial donation is time sensitive. Park and Recreation Director Kappelhoff replied that the individuals would like to have the equipment installed this summer.

City Manager Arneson suggested if the Council would like to accept the memorial that a motion be made at the City Council meeting tonight under the Other Business portion of the agenda. A policy will be brought forward at a future meeting for Council consideration.

Temporary Nursery Permits

City Manager Arneson reviewed that at the February 4, 2010 Council Workshop, the Council was provided with background information relative to temporary nursery licenses. Council directed staff to survey other cities to see if they allowed or issued similar license/permits, what fees they charged for the permit, and how long the temporary nurseries were permitted to be set up at a location. City Clerk Cross conducted a poll of other cities that license temporary nurseries. The list provided in the Council packet shows that the City of Blaine is at the top in the fee being charged. Staff would not recommend raising the license fee for current users. City Manager Arneson advised that there are five existing conditional use permits that have been approved over the years for temporary nursery locations. Council had asked whether there is anything that can be done to limit or terminate those uses if they choose to. City Attorney Sweeney has provided his opinion that these are permitted uses and cannot be removed without legal consequences.

Councilmember Herbst clarified that this item was brought to the Council for discussion by nursery owners in the City; it was not brought forward by the Council.

Mayor Ryan questioned if a store with a new application for a nursery section would be required to locate the nursery indoors. Community Development Director Schafer replied that this would likely depend on the zoning.

Councilmember Kolb stated she assumed after the Council discussed this previously, that it had been established there would not be new temporary nurseries allowed and that it would remain status quo. She stated her position that this should be made official. She suggested sending a letter to the permanent nursery stores informing them that the temporary nurseries that are already in business need to be allowed to continue.

Councilmember Clark stated he does not agree with the position of Noble Nursery on this topic and would not want the Council to send that message by sending the type of letter suggested by Councilmember Kolb. He stated his position that Noble Nursery deserves the courtesy of a response, but if a letter is sent stating that the reason Council cannot act on the current businesses is because it is prohibited by law, it implies that they would do so otherwise. He stated his support of allowing competition in the City.

Councilmember Herbst commented on the property taxes paid on the permanent buildings and stated his position that competition between temporary and permanent nurseries should be fair.

In regards to what would currently be allowed with new temporary nursery requests, Community Development Director Schafer advised that the City has the ability to steer these uses inside with PBD and DF zoning, and this is how things are done by most new operators. He will need to discuss with the City Attorney what the City can restrict in relation to locating this type of use in parking lots in a standard commercial zoning.

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