Brewer Taproom Requests Ordinance Change
Excelsior Brewing Company seeks a license to open a brewer taproom in Excelsior. Their request follows a new state law that allows breweries to sell their beer onsite. Currently the city does not permit a liquor license without a restaurant. The new ordinance would allow for the onsite sell of liquor without a restaurant.
The president and two partners of the Excelsior Brewing Company attended the meeting and emphasized that they are not opening a bar; they are only selling their beers onsite.
Council members Miller, Olson, and Caron voted in favor of the ordinance while Fulkerson dissented.
The ordinance change allows the company to return to the council for a license, which will include a public hearing.
This year Christkindlsmarkt will be located in the East Municipal Parking Lot in downtown Excelsior. A representative of the planning committee for the Christkindlsmarkt asked for up to $1,000 dollars in assistance from the city council to bury electric wires because the committee expects to use the East Municipal Parking Lot as the Christkindlsmarkt site in the future. He also requested a reduction in the special permit fee due to the increase in cost from the location of previous years to this year’s location.
The City Council discussed the pros and cons of burying the electric wires, which is more costly, and establishing a temporary electric pole. Council members were also concerned about the decrease in available parking and were not certain that they wanted Christkindlsmarkt in the East Municipal Parking Lot in the future. They eventually decided in favor of a temporary electric pole that the committee would bear the cost of removing at the city’s request.
They also agreed to reduce the special permit fee from $750 to $350 with the understanding that next year the cost of the fee will be full price.
The city is assessing the property of owners who are late on utility payments, parking maintenance, and other services. Two property owners, a husband and wife, spoke and gave a letter to the city council on Nov. 7 stating their invoice includes a statement for a property that they do not own. However, they did agree to pay the amount specified for the property that they do indeed own.
The council agreed to deduct the amount for the property in question while city staff looked into the billing error.
Minnetonka Public Schools Parking
The school district wanted an interim use permit to use Morse Avenue through Xcel energy property as a temporary solution to the safety hazards caused by the current intermingling of cars and buses in the parking lot. The parking lot becomes congested and potentially dangerous, particularly in the morning as parents drop off their kids at school.
Both the representative of the district’s traffic study and council members were concerned about the likely back-up on Water Street caused by the traffic re-route. The district suggested making Water Street two lanes for a short distance while prohibiting parking during the peak morning hours of 7:30am to 8am. City council members objected to the suggestion.
“Temporary becomes permanent,” Fulkerson said.
District representatives assured the council that they are looking at long-term solutions, including using George Street. Ultimately they want to partner with to look at solutions as plans for the become clearer.
Miller expressed his desire to work as partners with the school district. Due to the temporary nature of the permit, which will expire June 15, 2012, the council agreed to grant the permit with the promise of paying close attention to changes in traffic.