May 7, 2021

Design standards move ahead after robust discussion

The Wayzata Planning Commission approved a motion to send new design standards on to the City Council.

Andrew Faulkner, project manager with architecture and urban design firm Van Meter Williams Pollack, went into detail on amendments to the proposed design standards. The amendments were in response to discussion held during the Planning Commission’s April meeting. Feedback received from the community via letters and emails was also considered in shaping the refinements to the proposed document.

The first major change was in redefining the boundaries between the three districts: Lake Street, Wayzata Boulevard and the Bluffs.

“This started with a visual preference survey from the community,” Faulkner said. “They identified that the section of Wayzata Boulevard north of the Bluff District has a much different feel and we definitely agree with that sentiment.”

This section of Wayzata Boulevard will be removed from the Wayzata Boulevard District to allow that district to be more focused on commercial and mixed-use development. Faulkner said it will also make that area into a residential bridge between the Bluffs District and the neighborhood to its north.

Faulkner noted the Bluffs District’s standards will apply to all commercial, mixed-use and multi-family development proposals which take place outside of the three districts.

There were also refinements made to the junction between the three districts. This was done to include land into the Bluff District which fits the topographical bluff feature of the land.

“We are still including the Wells Fargo parcel in the Wayzata Boulevard District because it is more commercial in character,” he said. 

Clarification was added regarding bicycle parking, which is required. It is now stated that bicycle parking should be placed in building recesses and side yards, but there is flexibility for the city to allow parking in the tree planning zone on a case-by-case basis.

Non-binding guidance on electric vehicle charging was included at the behest of the Energy and Environment Committee, though Faulkner said there are no teeth behind requiring charging stations.

“But it’s our understanding that local municipalities in Minnesota are not currently allowed to require more stringent building standards than the state of Minnesota. So we are uncertain whether Wayzata could require electric vehicle charging in parking garages,” Faulkner said.

Minnesota follows the International Building Code, which according to Faulkner will require pre-wiring with its next code revision. This revision is unlikely to be adopted by Minnesota until at least 2026 and it would be limited to commercial buildings.

Several commission members had questions about significant deviations from the design standards. They wondered what deviations would be considered significant and in what scenarios the commission or city staff would need to make decisions on proposals with deviations.

Emily Goellner, community development director, said the commission would review all significant deviations. Staff would also review designs just as it does for zoning reviews today. Staff would have the ability to review and approve minor deviations, but if a deviation is deemed significant it would go through a review process similar to when building requests include variances.

“It’s more like how an ordinary zoning application would work,” said David Schelzel, city attorney.

Commission chair Christine Plantan called for a motion on the design standards document. Commissioner Jeff Parkhill spoke in favor of moving forward, noting the correction of typos and other minor changes needed to finalize the document.

“It seems to me a lot of eyes have been on this document,” he said.

Commissioner Peggy Douglas agreed.

“We spent many months on this. We could keep doing this for months,” she said. “I think we should acknowledge what was discussed today. It’s time to move on with this document.”

Douglas motioned to approve the document subject to incorporating minor changes, corrections and clarifying language. Shelzel suggested a “friendly amendment” reflecting the discussion around deviations. Goellner noted staff and the city clerk would work with attorney Shelzel to ensure everything is codified as discussed.

Parkhill seconded the motion and it was approved by a 5-2 vote with commissioners Lindsay Bashioum and Laura Merriam voting ‘Nay.’

After corrections are made, the document will be presented to the City Council during a regular meeting.

 

May 5, 2021

Wayzata Baseball Rallies to Beat Hopkins in Extra Innings

The Wayzata baseball team rallied from a 4-0 deficit to beat Hopkins 5-4 in nine innings for the Trojans’ 8th win of the season. Hopkins scored two runs in the first and single runs in the third and fifth innings. Wayzata scored four runs in the home half of the sixth inning to tie the game before winning it in the 9th. The second-ranked Trojans lost their first game of the season on Saturday to St. Louis Park and are 8-1 this season. The Royals are now 5-5.

May 3, 2021

City of Wayzata to explore keeping of backyard chickens

The City of Wayzata will discuss changing city code to allow the keeping of chickens on residential lots at a May 4th Council Workshop.

According to the agenda, the “topic has been brought up several times over the past year and most recently, the Council directed staff to do some due diligence and come back with some more info at a Council Meeting.”

Section 930.01.C of the Wayzata City Code states that farm animals are not allowed within the City.

There are four options being presented for discussion at the workshop ranging from continuing to prohibit chickens to heavily regulating the raising of chickens.

According to One Acre Farm, (OurOneAcreFarm.com) the pros of backyard chickens are as follows:

  • Animal welfare meaning eggs do not come from a mega operation where the chickens are unhappy and caged
  • Improved nutrition for the end user as the chickens are typically fed a wider range of feed
  • Environmental health as backyard chickens can be considered an extremely local food source and their waste can be utilized for fertilizer
  • Public Health as raising chickens is a way to produce foods without antibiotics
  • Reduced risk of Salmonella because there is less likely to be an infection outside a cage
  • Entertainment if you enjoy watching birds
  • Education if you aspire to be a farmer or work with animals.

The cons of allowing chickens in backyard environments are as follows:

  • Buying or building a coop requires time, treasure and planning
  • Smelly droppings from chickens that poop often and indiscriminately. It smells bad and can be tracked into the house and run into the neighbors yard in a rain event
  • Noise hens and roosters are noisy and can bother your neighbors
  • Rodents are attracted to chicken coops and chicken feed
  • Daily maintenance is required to collect eggs, wash and refill water founts, scoop up poop, rake the litter around to discourage rodents
  • Seasonal maintenance is required as the entire coop should be cleaned out and litter replaced regularly
  • Chickens create a lot of dust by scratching around in the ground and litter
  • Predators including but not limited to snakes and foxes will approach chicken coops attempting to eat the eggs, the chickens, or both
  • Behavior problems in chickens can occur as they are complicated social creatures. Bullying or feather picking can and odes occur
  • Ailing chickens can be problematic as they are vulnerable to all kinds of diseases requiring veterinary care
  • Old hen egg production can decline after a handful of years and leave an unproductive chicken with many years left.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com, your chicken debate leader.

May 3, 2021

CCX Sports Spotlight: Drew Berkland, Wayzata Baseball

In this week’s CCX Sports Spotlight story John Jacobson profiles Wayzata three-sport athlete Drew Berkland. The junior plays baseball in the spring, plus football and basketball at Wayzata. He has been part of state championship winning teams in both of those sports. Berkland has verbally committed to playing baseball at the University of Minnesota.

April 30, 2021

Big Second Half Carries Wayzata Girls Lacrosse to Win over Breck

 

The Wayzata girls lacrosse team outscored Breck 7-1 in the second half on the way to a 12-6 win Thursday night. Tied 5-5 at halftime, the Trojans scored five goals in the first nine and a half minutes of the second half. Ava Score netted five goals with three assists for the Trojans while Ava Goodnature scored four goals. Erin Duggan scored twice for the Mustangs who led 5-3 in the first half. Breck falls to 1-2 with the loss. Wayzata (3-1) plays at unbeaten Champlin Park on Monday.

April 30, 2021

Wayzata Boys Lacrosse Beats Rogers

The Wayzata boys lacrosse team fell behind 4-0 in the first quarter but rallied to beat Rogers 11-9 Thursday night. The Trojans netted five of the six goals that were scored in the second half on the way to the win. Wayzata has now won two straight after three losses to begin the season.

April 29, 2021

Area orgs unite to shed light on racially restrictive covenants

Several local and regional organizations are combining their efforts to educate Minnesotans on racially restrictive covenants.

Racially restrictive covenants are an example of structural and systemic racism in action. These covenants — written into home deeds since as early as 1910 — restrict people of color from renting, buying or even occupying homes in certain neighborhoods.

Rebecca Hawthorne, President of the League of Women Voters of Wayzata-Plymouth, said her home had one of these covenants. Hawthorne lives in the Highland neighborhood which was platted in the 1930s. In the 1940s, racially restrictive covenants were placed on the neighborhood.

“My deed says that no lots, plots or parcels can be sold, mortgaged or occupied — to any person other than a member of the caucasian race,” she said.

The exception in Hawthorne’s deed allows occupancy to non-white people only for the purposes of domestic service, such as maids or housekeepers.

“The way my house is built structurally reflects the house deed,” Hawthorne said. “My house was designed for a maid to go up the stairs from the kitchen to their attic room.”

The Fair Housing Act of 1968 rendered these covenants unenforceable. Yet or decades the legacy of these covenants has remained in ink on deeds across the state and many other states.

The University of Minnesota launched the Mapping Prejudice Project, which can be found online. The team behind the project researched deeds across Hennepin County, mapping out where racially restrictive covenants are present.

In Wayzata the Holdridge neighborhood and several lots west of Ferndale Road and south of Wayzata Boulevard are the largest areas where covenants exist.

Even though the covenants aren’t enforced today, they still have an impact. That’s why a number of organizations are making efforts to not only raise awareness, but to help remove these covenants one deed at a time. The organizations involved include the League of Women Voters, Just Deeds Coalition and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka

“It’s history, but it’s a history that impacts our living today,” Hawthorne said. “We’re trying to educate our residents and help people understand how these racially restrictive covenants have shaped our communities.”

“We read a lot today about disparities in Minnesota in terms of health care, wealth and education,” she continued. “That is the background when you restrict who can purchase a home or live in a particular area. It starts to raise awareness of the impact of racism and the structural nature of racism.”

The Just Deeds Coalition, based in Golden Valley, is helping people remove covenants from their homes. Hawthorne and her husband recently had the covenant on their home discharged. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Minnetonka recently discovered it had a covenant and is in the process of discharging it. 

Hawthorne hopes raising awareness can help more people do the same.

“We’re providing both education and legal help — all pro bono — to help people,” she said. “This brings people together to move forward and work collectively and work on issues in our communities and larger social issues.”

Education and outreach efforts have already begun in Wayzata. During the last Heritage Preservation Board meeting, the history of racially restrictive covenants and how they came to be was discussed. 

At 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13, Wayzata Community Education will host a virtual event on racially restrictive covenants in Wayzata and Plymouth neighborhoods. The event will cover property deed restrictions and their history, as well as organizations like the Just Deeds Coalition and Mapping Prejudice Project. It is part one of a two part series which will continue on June 17.

VIRTUAL EVENT

What: Racially Restrictive Covenants in Wayzata and Plymouth Neighborhoods
When: 6 p.m. Thursday, May 13
Where: Online. Visit https://wayzata.ce.eleyo.com/course/6619/adult-classes-spring-2021/racially-restrictive-covenants-in-wayzata-and-plymouth-neighborhoods

Editor's Note, Publisher Dan Gustafson serves on the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board.

April 28, 2021

Wayzata Teacher France Roberts in Running for MN Teacher of the Year

Education Minnesota announced nine finalists for its Teacher of the Year. The Wayzata and Osseo school districts both have teachers in the running for the honor. France Roberts is a first-grade teacher at Meadow Ridge Elementary and Jessica Stewart is a social studies teacher at Osseo Senior High.

April 28, 2021

2021 Wayzata Dig it Day Cancelled

The City of Wayzata has cancelled the annual volunteer planting opportunity Dig it Day, “In support of the health and safety of the community,” according to a release.

Organizers hope to hold the event in 2022

April 26, 2021

2021 Wayzata Spring Splash scheduled for May 1st

The Wayzata Conservancy, the City of Wayzata and Wayzata Community Ed will be hosting the annual Wayzata Spring Splash on Saturday, May 1st 2021 in downtown Wayzata.

According to Andrew Mullin, Chair of the Wayzata Conservancy, "Spring Splash is an event for kids and families to learn about summer programming opportunities Wayzata Community Ed, Wayzata Sailing, Wayzata Fishing, Three Rivers Park District, Wayzata Public Schools and the Ridgedale YMCA.

Attendees can visit Plaza Park from 11am - 1pm on Saturday May 1st. There will be free ice cream provided by Ben & Jerry's and hotdogs from McCormick's Beachside (while supplies last) and games by the YMCA and the Three Rivers Parks on the Go Van (subject to COVID restrictions).

Stop by and remember to keep your distance and bring your mask.

If you go:

Panoway on Wayzata Bay
Saturday May 1st, 2021 from 11am-1pm.