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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Wayzata Planning Commission Reviews Section Foreman House Preservation Site Designation Request

On Monday, Dec. 16, the Wayzata Planning Commission reviewed a request from the Heritage Preservation Board to designate the Section Foreman House as a Heritage Preservation Site.


Courtesy City of Wayzata

The commissioners unanimously approved a motion to direct staff to prepare a draft Planning Commission report and recommendation for approval that the Section Foreman House be designated as a Historic Preservation Site to be reviewed and adopted at the next Planning Commission meeting.

Courtesy City of Wayzata

According to city code, the designation requires a public hearing with the Planning Commission and approval by City Council.

The Section Foreman House was built in 1902 to support the section foremen and their families.

The section foreman was in charge of a section gang tasked with making sure the railroad tracks were in good repair.

The Wayzata Section Foreman House is believed to be the only section house in Minnesota still standing at its original location.

The Section Foreman House is located along the railroad tracks on Lake Minnetonka just east of where the Great Northern Depot stands. The depot was built in 1906.

With a Heritage Preservation Site designation in place, a site alteration permit will be need to be approved by the City Council.

The main reason for the site alteration permit  is to ensure that no changes will be made that will impair the historical integrity of the structure. The process allows for more public input and transparency around proposed changes to historic house.

You can read more about the process in the Planning Commission agenda packet beginning on page 31.



Monday, December 16, 2019

Yard Display Not A Sign Buchanan Running For Wayzata Mayor


A Wayzata resident asked Wayzata.com about a political yard sign that appeared near the corner of Bushaway Road and McGinty.



The sign reads “Jeff Buchanan for Wayzata”.

The resident wondered if this was a sign that council member Jeff Buchanan was running for mayor.

Wayzata.com reached out to Buchanan to ask about the sign and received the following response:

“No. That’s an old sign that got resurrected somehow. I need to climb up there and take it down.”

Buchanan was elected to the council in November of 2018. He is serving a four-year term. 

Johanna McCarthy was reelected to the council during that same election.

In 2020, Mayor Ken Willcox, council member Dan Koch and council member Alex Plechash are up for reelection. 

All three ran unopposed in 2016. 

Willcox was first elected mayor in 2008. 

Koch and Plechash are serving their first terms.



Saturday, December 14, 2019

City Council To Review Resolution Supporting $10M Lake Effect State Request


On Tuesday, the Wayzata City Council will consider the adoption of Resolution 58-2019, supporting the Lake Effect Project within the 2020 state capital budget.

Courtesy Lake Effect Conservancy

According to the city council agenda, the city has allocated around $10 million for construction costs tied to Phase I of the Lake Effect Project.

In order to move to Phase II, which includes the boardwalk, Depot Park, Eco Park, Section Foreman’s House and lake restoration, an additional $10 million will be needed, according to city staff.

The city of Wayzata has submitted an application to the State of Minnesota Department of Management and Budget for consideration in the state’s 2020 capital budget.

On Nov. 14, The City of Wayzata hosted the Minnesota House Capital Investment Committee to learn about the Lake Effect Project.

This followed a visit from a similar committee from the Minnesota Senate a few weeks prior.

The city is asking the state for $10 million of an estimated $20 million to complete the Lake Effect Project.

The state portion would come from an upcoming legislative bonding bill.

Lake Effect Background

In February of 2011, the city council appointed a Lakefront Task Force to research and provide a recommendation for the future of the City’s lakefront.

The city council adopted the Report of the Wayzata Lakefront Taskforce in January of 2012.

In March of 2014, the city council adopted the Wayzata Lakefront Final Framework Report.

Wayzata selected Civitas as the design team for the Lake Effect Signature Park schematic design in September of 2015.

On December 15, 2016, the city council approved an agreement with the Lake Effect Conservancy as a part of Resolution 29-2016 which defined the scope of the Lake Effect Project and its next steps.

That agreement states that the Conservancy will actively raise Private and Philanthropic Funding.

The Conservancy recently announced a new initiative called Panoway on Wayzata Bay.

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

New Right Turn Rules for Hwy 12 Ramp & 101


If you’re using the ramp from westbound Highway 12 to County Road 101 in Wayzata, there’s a change you need to know about.

Courtesy Google
Between the hours of 3-6 p.m., motorists will not be able to turn right on a red light.

The Minnesota Department of Transporation (MnDOT) says it will continue to monitor traffic at that intersection and could adjust the turning restriction in the future.

MnDOT and Hennepin County rebuilt the County Road 101 bridge over Highway 12 this year.


Wayzata P.D. Toys for Tots Collection Deadline Wednesday


Wednesday, Dec. 11, is the deadline for Toys for Tots donations at the Wayzata Police Department.



The police department collects toys, books and other gifts to fill their squad cars to donate to the Toys for Tots campaign.

You can drop off toy donations at the Wayzata Police Department and Wayzata City Hall.

After the last collection day, police from as many as 20 departments load their cruisers with donated gifts and meet at the Golden Valley Police Department then parade to the KARE 11 drop off site.

Monday, December 09, 2019

Wayzata Volleyball & Football Champions Honored at Monday’s School Board Meeting

At Monday’s Wayzata School Board Meeting, the state champion Wayzata High School Volleyball and Football teams will be honored.


The board is also putting on a farewell party for outgoing board member Erik Brown.

The school board meeting starts at 7 p.m. at Wayzata City Hall.



Friday, December 06, 2019

City of Wayzata Introduces Lake Effect Construction Manager Stahl Construction

The construction manager for the Lake Effect Project, Stahl Construction, was introduced at Tuesday's Wayzata City Council meeting.

Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

"We're a small staff, we're not going to be boots on the ground every day," said city manager Jeff Dahl. "We need help managing and communicating all the invested stakeholders."

Stahl updated project cost estimates, communications and engagement plan, preliminary construction staging plan was well as discussed an updated timeline.

"We'll be managing the bid process early in 2020 targeting construction start around March of 2020," 
said Jessie Houlihan, President of Stahl Construction.

"We're really excited about some of the work we will be doing including construction updates, working with some of the channels you already have in place, working with the local businesses on Lake Street as well as the residents and the visitors that come to visit Wayzata," added Houlihan.

At the Nov. 19 city council meeting (Nov. 19), a professional services agreement with Stahl Construction for construction management services for Lake Effect’s first phase was approved.

The agreement includes $25,200 pre-construction services, approximately $100,000 for construction management, $50,000/month for construction services and $4,260/month for reimbursable expenses.

The city stated these costs will be paid out of the Lake Effect Fund and were previously unplanned.

The expectation is that the Stahl expenses will decrease the overall project costs.

Lake Effect’s first phase essentially consists of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail Extension.

Stahl was brought in after bids for the first phase came in double the estimated costs earlier this year. City council rejected those bids in July.


Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

Stahl Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline

According to Stahl’s Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline provided in the city workshop agenda, there will be monthly updates on the Lake Street Project including an open house in January.

The regular monthly updates will include: construction updates, social media content, dedicated construction website and newsletter content, and neighborhood/local business meetings, according to the timeline.

The timeline also states that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction in March. There will be substantial completion prior to James J. Hill Days according to the timeline.

Stahl offered other marketing ideas for consideration including: promoting local businesses, Chamber of Commerce cross promotions, engagement of local media, as well as print materials including yard signs, postcards, billboards and brochures.

Stahl High Level Project Pull Plan

According to Stahl’s High Level Project Pull Plan, bids for the project are scheduled to go out Feb. 13, 2020. The selection of bids and bid approval are scheduled for the Feb. 18, city council meeting. 

The plan states that an open house and groundbreaking will take place in February. 

Construction is slated to begin in March according to Stahl’s plan.

Thursday, December 05, 2019

Wayzata Deputy Police Chief Marc Schultz Sworn In


Marc Schultz was sworn in Tuesday as Wayzata's Deputy Police Chief.


Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

Schultz started with the City on Nov. 18.

"Marc brings lots of experience, but equally important, he brings a lot of experiences," said Wayzata Police Chief Mike Risvold.

He comes from the Roseville Police Department where he has worked for more than 21 years.


"He'll play a very important role when it comes to succession planning here at our police department," added Risvold.

Wednesday, December 04, 2019

Wayzata City Council Denies PUD For Boatworks Redevelopment


On Tuesday, the Wayzata City Council passed Resolution 50-2019 denying the PUD Concept Plan and Zoning Ordinance Amendments for the redevelopment of Boatworks.



Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

In October, the Planning Commission voted 6-0 in favor for denial of the development application.



                                                Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

The main discussion points were the height of the building, exterior design, pedestrian access to docks and lakeshore and the proposed public benefits.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Lake Effect Headlines Tuesday's City Council Workshop & Meeting


The Lake Effect will be a topic of discussion at Tuesday's city council workshop and city council meeting.

Courtesy City of Wayzata, Civitas

TUESDAY’S WORKSHOP (5:30 p.m.)

According to the Wayzata City Council Workshop Agenda, the city will get an update from Stahl Construction on the pre-construction process of the first phase of the Lake Effect Project.

Stahl is scheduled to update project cost estimates, communications and engagement plan, preliminary construction staging plan was well as discuss an updated timeline.

At the last city council meeting (Nov. 19), a professional services agreement with Stahl Construction for construction management services for Lake Effect’s first phase was approved.

The agreement includes $25,200 pre-construction services, approximately $100,000 for construction management, $50,000/month for construction services and $4,260/month for reimbursable expenses.

The city stated these costs will be paid out of the Lake Effect Fund and were previously unplanned.

The expectation is that the Stahl expenses will decrease the overall project costs.

Lake Effect’s first phase essentially consists of Lake Street, Lake Street Plaza and the Dakota Rail Regional Trail Extension.

Stahl was brought in after bids for the first phase came in double the estimated costs earlier this year. City council rejected those bids in July.


Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

Stahl Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline

According to Stahl’s Wayzata Lake Street Communications Timeline provided in the city workshop agenda, there will be monthly updates on the Lake Street Project including an open house in January.

Courtesy City of Wayzata
The regular monthly updates will include: construction updates, social media content, dedicated construction website and newsletter content, and neighborhood/local business meetings, according to the timeline.

The timeline also states that there will be a groundbreaking ceremony for the start of construction in March. There will be substantial completion prior to James J. Hill Days according to the timeline.

Stahl offered other marketing ideas for consideration including: promoting local businesses, Chamber of Commerce cross promotions, engagement of local media, as well as print materials including yard signs, postcards, billboards and brochures.

Stahl High Level Project Pull Plan

According to Stahl’s High Level Project Pull Plan, bids for the project are scheduled to go out Feb. 13, 2020. The selection of bids and bid approval are scheduled for the Feb. 18, city council meeting. 

Courtesy City of Wayzata

The plan states that an open house and groundbreaking will take place in February. 

Construction is slated to begin in March according to Stahl’s plan.

Lake Effect Finance Update

Also during Tuesday’s workshop, the city council will review an updated funding plan for the first phase of the Lake Effect Project.

The Capital Project Summary for the Lakefront Improvement Fund (see below) includes: design fees, Section Foreman House Study & Project costs, lobbying for bonding support and Lake Effect Conservancy Administrative Support.

Courtesy City of Wayzata

According to the city's workshop agenda packet, the estimated Lake Effect Project costs were approximately $5.5 million earlier in the year. Based on new estimates, the project has increased to approximately $9 million, according to Tuesday's workshop agenda packet. 

The city is proposing to offset the increased cost using TIF funds.

Last month, the city unveiled a new brand concept for the project called Panoway on Wayzata Bay.

TUESDAY’S COUNCIL MEETING (7 p.m.)

According to Tuesday’s City Council Meeting Agenda, Deputy Police Chief Marc Schultz will be sworn in.

Schultz started with the City on Nov. 18. He comes from the Roseville Police Department where he has worked for more than 21 years.

Stahl Construction, the Lake Effect Construction Manager, will be introduced at the city council meeting.


In October, the Planning Commission voted 6-0 in favor for denial of the development application.



                                                Courtesy City of Wayzata/WCTV

The main discussion points were the height of the building, exterior design, pedestrian access to docks and lakeshore and the proposed public benefits.