Feb. 9, 2022

Wayzata Boys Basketball Overpowers STMA

The Wayzata boys basketball team hit eight three-pointers in the first half and nine more in the second half on the way to an 80-41 win over St. Michael-Albertville Tuesday. Five Trojans scored in double figures in the win, with sophomore Jackson McAndrew coming off the bench to hit five three-pointers and score 15 points.

Feb. 8, 2022

Planning commision recommends denial on TCF redevelopment

Potential third time development plans fail

Joe Fisher, Community Reporter

The Wayzata Planning Commission recommended city staff to draft a denial of a proposed redevelopment concept for the TCF headquarters property on Lake Street on Monday.

This is the third time Lakewest Development has come before the commission to present plans for redeveloping the property at 200 E. Lake Street. In 2020, it presented plans to convert the existing TCF Bank into condominiums and construct new residential buildings. In 2021, it returned to the commission with a plan to demolish the TCF building and construct two new residential buildings.

After the previous two denials, the developer took feedback from the commission as well as the public through a neighborhood meeting in January. The new plan discussed Monday included an underground mechanical parking system, 32 condominiums and retail space. There would also be pocket parks on the property, and 25-foot facade breaks every 150 feet. The development would include two buildings, referred to as east and west buildings or ‘building A’ and ‘building B’. Approval of the plan would have required a zoning amendment to the existing planned urban development to create a new PUD district, design standards deviations and a shoreland impact plan study.

Consultant Eric Zweber said 66-percent of the parking under the east building is beneath groundwater elevation, as well as 17-percent of the west building’s parking. 

200 Lake Street East - Proposed Site. Image courtesy Lakewest Development.

More than 100 pages of public comments were received, with many of them noting concern over tearing down the TCF building, losing views of the lake, the proximity of the redevelopment near the BNSF railroad tracks and increases in traffic. There was also a petition which received more than 400 signatures from residents and 1100 signatures in total in about a week opposing the development plans.

Curt Fretham, chief manager of Lakewest Development, said his development team has tried to be creative to meet requirements in the city’s design standards and comprehensive plan.

“We did that,” Fretham said of a number of changes his team was asked to make. “You asked us in initial meetings to reduce mass, provide more open space. You asked us in other words to make it smaller. You also asked us to increase density or in other words, make it bigger. We’ve been asked to do a lot of things. And we have been accepting and approving of those asks. All we really want to do is use our property in a reasonable manner.”

The applicant had several consultants discuss the concept further, addressing how the mechanical parking system works, the traffic impact of the new residential and commercial space and the architectural design.

“We’re frankly surprised, given all the consultants they brought tonight, they did not do a railroad study,” said Kendra Lindahl during the public forum. “It’s not that it could happen. It has happened.”

Lindahl referenced a train derailment which struck another site along the railroad corridor, though commissioner Peggy Douglas corrected that it did not happen on the site in question. The south side of the property is marked by the railroad tracks about 25-feet from the proposed building.

Lindahl asked what value this development would bring to the city, which Brad Hoyt echoed. Hoyt is the owner of Ventana Apartments.

“This building is only 35 years old. It’s not even depreciated yet,” he said. “My view is the project is already reasonably developed and should remain in its state.”

Rendering of the proposed structure dubbed the Wayzata Beach Club. Image courtesy Hobbs & Black Architects / Lakewest Development.

Lindsay Bashioum, who previously served on the planning commission, said the commission got it right the first two times it denied development plans.

“There’s no public benefit that isn’t already there,” Bashioum said.

The commission thanked the applicant for coming forward with a new concept for a third time, remarking on some of the things they liked about the new plans. They also said many of their concerns remain.

“This does not depict the charm of a lakeside community,” Douglas said. “I’m worried about the precedent for future development.”

“I think it’s too big to be charming,” Commissioner Jeff Parkhill added.

Commissioner Ken Sorenson motioned to direct staff to draft a denial of application. Commissioner Jennifer Severson seconded and the commission voted unanimously in favor of denial.

The property is listed with Cushman & Wakefield.

Feb. 8, 2022

Wayzata Chilly Open Schedule 2022

Brooke Beyer-Special Contributor
Wayzata Chamber of Commerce

Stretch, train, assemble your squad! The 38th Annual Chilly Open, the largest most well-known and unusual golf tournament held on a frozen lake, will be here in just a few short days. What started as a small crazy idea on how to have a little fun during the coldest month of the year has evolved into one of Minnesota’s most unique winter events. We are looking forward to hosting 1,800 golfers, in themed Olympic costumes and bar sleds, hitting tennis balls with hockey sticks and tee ball bats. 27 hole sponsors will decorate and host three-9 hole courses. This is a winter festival you won’t want to miss.

Cinema & Skates ($10 | LIMITED TICKETS AVAILABLE!) – Thursday and Friday, February 10 & 11, 4:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

Skate the Lake! Experience Lake Minnetonka’s infinity skating loop – a 45,000 sq. ft on-ice venue. It’s perfect for a date night or a night of family fun! So bundle up, bring your skates (or a lawn chair) and enjoy music or one of the featured films on the big screen while skating Wayzata Bay (Thursday – Cool Runnings & Friday - Frozen). Tickets are required and limited per session. Two Hour Ticket Reservations on sale now until each session sells out. NEW this year – The Fab Tap will be on the ice selling hot cocoa, hot cider, and treats. Admission is $10 per person

Snowga (open to public) – Saturday, February 12, 9:00 a.m.

Namaste on Wayzata Bay ... Come Snowga with us! Anyone can do Hot Yoga, but only true Minnesotan’s can say they have done SNOWGA (yoga on the ice) yoga on the ice). First 100 attendees will get a complimentary Crisp & Green beanie, along with free heated agua frescas. Bring your own mat and winter gear and start the day with free yoga flow. Access to the on-ice venue is through Depot Park. Free and Open to the Public.

Golf Tournament (SOLD OUT!) – Saturday, February 12, Tee Times: 10 am, 12 noon & 2 pm. Theme: The Olympics

In true Olympic fashion, the 2022 Golf Tournament broke a record and sold out of all tickets a couple of weeks ago! Golfers will play a round, head to the 19th Hole tent and enjoy live music by ”PowerTap” band on the Edina Realty stage while tasting some of the best chili from over 10 local restaurants competing in the Chili Cookoff Contest. The 2022 celebrity judges include: Stephanie March, Paul Buttenhoff, Cody Matz, Chef Amalia Moreno Damgaard, and Erik Eastman.

Breakfast Buffet & Ice Bar (reservations strongly encouraged)– Friday, February 11, 4 – 10 pm - Saturday, February 12, from 9 am - Close

Stop by 6Smith on your way to and from “The Open”. Be sure to make a reservation for the Chilly Open Brunch Buffet on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. For pricing and the menu visit 6Smith.com.
Snowkite Races & Nite Kite (open to public) - Friday, February 11 at 5 pm | Saturday, February 12, 11 am – 2 pm | Sunday February 13, 11 am – 2 pm

Experience a beautiful backdrop of colorful kites flying through the air during the Chilly Open weekend. Or better yet, try it out for FREE! Wind dependent, (minimum 7mph)

Want in?! See WayzataChillyOpen.com for all the details. Follow along @WayzataChillyOpen on Facebook and Instagram for all the up to date details and announcements. This frozen event is sponsored by many local businesses.

Call 952-473-9595 or info@wayzatachamber.com

Feb. 8, 2022

Wayzata Boys Hockey Loses 1-0 to Minnetonka

Good scoring chances were hard to come by as Wayzata lost 1-0 to Minnetonka in a key Lake Conference boys hockey game Thursday at Plymouth Ice Center. Gavin Garry scored the only goal of the game for the Skippers in the second period to give Minnetonka a sweep of the season series over the Trojans. Wayzata is now 6-2 in Lake Conference games, while Minnetonka is 5-2. Eden Prairie leads the conference at 6-1.

Feb. 1, 2022

Cinema & Skates to be held during Chilly Open

Golfing in February on Frozen Lake Minnetonka? You Betcha! The largest, most well-known and unusual golf tournament held on a frozen lake. 1,800 Golf tickets sold out!!!! (a record)

Join the fun:
Snowga (yoga on ice)
Date: Saturday, Feb 12, Time 9 am! at the Cinema & Skates site on Wayzata Bay.

Chilly Open Breakfast Buffet & Ice Bar at 6Smith
Date: Feb 11, 2022, Time: 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm
Adults $25.95, Kids 12 and under $15.95

Hole sponsors still needed! Wavemaker volunteers needed!!

More info visit WayzataChamber.com

Cinema & Skates

Skate the Lake! Experience Lake Minnetonka’s infinity skating loop – a 45,000 sq. ft on-ice venue. It’s perfect for a date night or a night of family fun! So bundle up, bring your skates (or a lawn chair) and enjoy music or one of the featured films on the big screen while skating Wayzata Bay.

Tickets are required and limited per session. Each person in your party must purchase a ticket to attend. Two Hour Ticket Reservations on sale now until each session sells out. Buy tix at WayzataChamber.com

Thursday, February 10 | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm featuring Music/Skating
Thursday, February 10 | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm featuring COOL RUNNINGS Movie/Skating
Friday, February 11 | 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm featuring Music/Skating
Friday, February 11 | 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm featuring FROZEN Movie/Skating

Posted in Wayzata Chamber
Jan. 31, 2022

Stella Swenson is MN Volleyball Player of the Year

In its 37th year of honoring the nation’s best high school athletes, Gatorade announced Stella Swenson of Wayzata High School is the 2021-22 Gatorade Minnesota Volleyball Player of the Year. Swenson is the first Gatorade Minnesota Volleyball Player of the Year to be chosen from Wayzata High School.

Image courtesy Wayzata Trojan Athletic Department

The award, which recognizes not only outstanding athletic excellence, but also high standards of academic achievement and exemplary character demonstrated on and off the court, distinguishes Swenson as Minnesota’s best high school volleyball player. Now a finalist for the prestigious Gatorade National Volleyball Player of the Year award to be announced in January, Swenson joins an elite alumni association of state award-winners, including USA Volleyball players Kayla Banwarth (2006-07, Wahlert High School, Iowa), Alisha Glass (2005-06, Leland Public High School, Mich.), Jordan Larson (2004-05, Logan View High School, Neb.) and Foluke Akinradewo (2004-05, St. Thomas High School, Fla.).

The 6-foot-1 sophomore setter led the Trojans to a 34-0 record and the Class AAAA state title this past season.

Swenson amassed 936 assists long with 145 digs, 93 kills, 58 service aces and 57 blocks, contributing 55 assists, 10 digs and five kills in Wayzata’s 3-1 win over East Ridge High in the state final. A two-time First Team All-State
selection and a four-time All-Conference honoree, Swenson is ranked as the nation’s No. 28 recruit in the Class of 2024 by PrepVolleyball.com. Her older sister, Samantha, was the state’s 2014-15 Gatorade Girls Volleyball Player of the Year.

Swenson has volunteered locally at an assisted-living facility, and she has donated her time as a youth volleyball coach. “Stella makes very good decisions offensively and has a broad set of skills she displays every night in her
matches,” said Hannah Specktor, head coach of Apple Valley High School. “She is very versatile on the floor as more than just a setter.”

Swenson has maintained a B average in the classroom. She will begin her junior year of high school this fall.

The Gatorade Player of the Year program annually recognizes one winner in the District of Columbia and each of the 50 states that sanction high school football, girls volleyball, boys and girls cross country, boys and girls basketball, boys and girls soccer, baseball, softball, and boys and girls track & field, and awards one National Player  of the Year in each sport. The selection process is administered by the Gatorade Player of the Year Selection Committee, which leverages experts including coaches, scouts, media and others as sources to help evaluate and
determine the state winners in each sport.

Jan. 25, 2022

Council hears Annual Report

City manager Jeff Dahl and administrative services director Aurora Yager recapped a year of progress for the city council with the city’s Annual Report last Tuesday.

The second year operating under the cloud of the pandemic was much different than 2020, according to Yager.

“In 2020, it was a lot more about managing hot spots and in 2021 leading into 2022 it was much more about maintaining these changes and altering practices in the long term,” she said.

From an administration standpoint, the biggest changes were in providing more communication to the public about policies and many more hybrid meetings.

The city did not completely rebound to normal but there were significant trends towards the pre-2020 norm, according to the report. Motor vehicle revenues were up 30-percent from 2020 to 2021. The city clerk’s office processed more than 300 licenses and more than 1,300 property inspections took place.

A large number of city projects moved forward as well. Dahl said 1.5 miles of public streets were rehabilitated. On the Panoway, a Panoway District Committee was formed, the 9/11 Memorial was constructed and designs are underway for the docks and boardwalk.

Dahl said funding for the Panoway Project made strides as well.

“We did get the TIF (tax-increment financing) legislation. Those funds are to be used for a portion of the docks and boardwalk,” he said. “It’s going to be another busy year. We will continue working with the Conservancy to secure more funding.”

While the report focused largely on what happened in 2021, Dahl also previewed some of what to expect this year. The beach playground is expected to be completed this spring. The public works department will begin replacing water meters throughout the year. More than 2.5 miles of sanitary sewer will be lined which will reduce leaks and line breaks.

“There has been so much positive through this past year,” Dahl said. “This year we were under duress again. We accomplished a lot while upholding our values of teamwork, responsiveness and friendliness.”

In other business, the council held a public hearing to approve the selling of wine and 3.2-percent malt liquor licenses for Wayzata Jade, operating as Jade Fountain at 838 E. Lake Street. Staff recommended approval of the license and the council agreed to approve.

Jade Fountain owner Shilina Cheng thanked the council for its consideration. Cheng opened the restaurant in 1987 and later sold it to one of her employees in 2011. The employee has since retired so Cheng bought the restaurant back at the start of the year.

Shelina Cheng, owner of Jade Fountain in Wayzata discusses a new liquor license. Image courtesy City of Wayzata.

Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce President Becky Pierson updated the council on the 2022 Chilly Open events to be held in February. The event has been an annual tradition for 38 years, aside from missing last year due to the pandemic.

“We’re excited to have it back again. It will be fairly similar to what it has been in the past,” Pierson said.

The theme of this year’s Chilly Open is the Olympics. As such, the event’s opening ceremony will coincide with the opening of the Winter Olympics on Feb. 4. Cinema and Skates will be open for five nights instead of two this year, featuring the films Cool Runnings, Frozen, Moana, Sing and La La Land. Five contestants have entered for the chili cook off and Pierson said they are hoping to have 10 contestants total. Contestants need to operate out of a commercial kitchen.

Jan. 25, 2022

IOCP Annual Sleep Out Campaign surpasses fundraising goal

Special Contributor Deb Sakry Lande
Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners

Plymouth-based Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners' 26th annual Sleep Out began on Saturday, Nov. 13, and ran through Dec. 31, 2021. The nonprofit organization announced that community support helped raise more than $3 million to prevent homelessness and address suburban poverty. Hundreds of people braved the cold
 to attend the Sleep Out kickoff on Nov. 13, 2021 and they slept out all over town during the campaign in tents, cars and boxes to raise funds and awareness.

Kevin Ward, Executive Director of Interfaith Outreach, Henry Brantingham, Interfaith supporter and Kjell Ferris, Pastor at Peace Lutheran Church at a Sleep Out 2021 event.

Henry Brantingham, an Interfaith Outreach supporter and 10-year Sleep Out participant sleeps out on Thanksgiving day every year, “We sit around the table, we give thanks for all of our blessings, and then I do my little thing which is just a reference to the suffering that goes on at the same time.” Henry sleeps alone  overnight in a tent in his back yard and invites his friends to donate to Interfaith through his Sleep Out fundraising page to support his effort and the nonprofits’ mission.

“The needs of the community are greater than ever, and that’s why we stepped up our fundraising goal to $3 million this year,” said Kevin Ward, Interfaith Outreach executive director. “We are beyond amazed by the generosity of this community. Thank you, 100-fold! It takes all of us to address and prevent the challenges people face such as rising housing costs, underemployment, the cost and lack of access to childcare and access to healthy foods. The added strains of the pandemic will have lasting effects on individuals and families living in poverty for years to come.”

According to Wilder Research, 14% of people living in Interfaith Outreach’s eight-city service area in the west metro are living in poverty. For a family of four, that’s $26,500 a year, an income level that can scarcely cover even the most basic needs such as rent which is $1,467 on average. Last year more than 200 Interfaith families experienced homelessness.

Since the Sleep Out began, Interfaith Outreach has helped prevent homelessness 34,912 times through rent assists – keeping people in their homes and preventing homelessness 631 times last year alone. The Interfaith Outreach Food Shelf is now a certified SuperShelf, serves hundreds of households per week including in-person and home delivery food distribution, and 44% of the people served at the Food Shelf are children. All of these efforts are largely possible thanks to the annual Sleep Out, which raises 40% of the organization’s budget in eight weeks.  

Community generosity provides:

  • caring case managers who help people through crises so they can stabilize and strengthen
  • rent assistance so families can keep their housing, preventing eviction and homelessness
  • utility payment assistance that keeps the lights and other utilities on
  • Employment Services support including access to education/training that helps people find and keep living-wage jobs
  • fresh and culturally-specific foods at the new SuperShelf food shelf
  • and more...

About Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners

The mission of Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners is to engage the heart and will of the community to respond to emergency needs and create opportunities for all to thrive.

A suburban human service nonprofit serving families and individuals living in eight west Hennepin County communities, Interfaith Outreach and its community partners mobilize resources and ignite the power of community to help residents move past crises, overcome barriers to independent living, and connect with services and opportunities to build strong futures. Interfaith Outreach delivers services in the areas of family support, food, housing and neighborhoods, education and youth, employment, and transportation.

Serving residents of Hamel, Long Lake, Medicine Lake, Medina, Minnetonka Beach, Orono, Plymouth and Wayzata since 1979. Learn more at iocp.org or 763-489-7500. Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners is an award-winning 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Posted in IOCP Sleep Out
Jan. 24, 2022

WHS Theater Presents, "The Addams Family"

The Wayzata High School Theater Presents:


And you thought your family was weird. Gothic and gregarious, the Addams family lead by Gomez and Morticia have been pop culture staples since the first comic strips appeared in 1938. This smash hit Broadway musical introduces the Addams clan in a new story that will have the entire audience (living and otherwise) tapping their toes and snapping along.

When sullen daughter Wednesday announces she's invited her new boyfriend and his very normal family for a dinner party, the Addams family must put on their best funereal wear and play their part -- but complications arise when the truly creepy and kooky Addamses
begin to show their true colors.

The Addams Family is a trick-or-treat for ages young and old.

The Addams Family runs February 25-March 6, 2022, in Auditorium 2.
Tickets at whstheatre.com Reserved Seating $15 Adult, $12 (Senior 62+), $10 Student / Staff

Jan. 21, 2022

Wayzata Wrestling Beats Buffalo

The Wayzata wrestling team won all but three matches on the way to a 62-12 win over Buffalo Thursday in a Lake Conference match. Five Wayzata wrestlers pinned their opponents, and the Bison also had four open weights.