West St. Paul City Council chambers

City Council Preview: Oct. 25, 2021

We provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with your support.

West St. Paul City Council will consider a townhouse redevelopment plan for the former Thompson Oaks golf course, hold assessment hearings, welcome new police officers, and move forward a limit on tobacco shops.

Thompson Oaks Phase II Redevelopment

The east end of the former Thompson Oaks golf course has been slated for townhouse redevelopment. The initial development agreement depended on receiving a state grant for soil clean up, which fell through. Now the city is renegotiating a deal with Oppidan to redevelop the property for 58 townhomes. Oppidan would take on most of the soil clean up (though the city could pitch in as much as $600,000) and the city would sell the property for $1.

If this moves forward, a public hearing would happen on November 22 with other approvals happening in winter/spring and soil correction work starting summer/fall 2022.

Assessment Hearings

There will be three public hearings for assessments, one for citations, one for miscellaneous charges, and one for this year’s street projects.

The administrative citations include the usual lack of property maintenance, but there’s one house that’s racked up $21,000 in fines for inoperable vehicles and a roof caving in. The city hasn’t been able to get in touch with the owner and the house was declared inhospitable in May.

Limiting Tobacco Shops

For the health of the public, the city will be limiting specialty tobacco retailers to three. This comes as other cities are restricting or banning these shops, potentially pushing more of them into West St. Paul. We already have three tobacco retailers, so the city is attempting to proactively limit new ones from coming in. This is a first reading with a public hearing coming in November.

Other Items on the Agenda

  • Planning Commission: Last week the City Council hashed out details on expanding the Planning Commission from seven to nine members and requiring equal ward representation, while allowing for at-large members when ward-specific members don’t apply. The topic will come up again during Open Council Work Session for further review before it comes up in the regular meeting.
  • New police officers: The police department will swear in two new police officers and welcome two new community service officers to the department.
  • Renaissance Plan updates: Several updates will be made to ordinances to implement and update Renaissance Plan requirements. These include consistent building setbacks, limiting parking that fronts Robert Street, and reducing parking minimums. This is a first reading with a public hearing coming in November.
  • Business subsidy: The Economic Development Authority (EDA) will review the business subsidy policy during a work session. This policy determines what kinds of projects the city will help fund through grants, subsidies, or other financing.
  • Strategic plan: During the OCWS, City Council will review the strategic plan and actionable initiatives developed by the city manager. This includes a range of practical actions to actually implement the strategic plan.
  • Native American Heritage: The Council will declare November to be Native American Heritage Month.

The public can watch the meeting live on Town Square TV or cable TV starting at 6:30 p.m. on Monday (5 p.m. for the EDA Work Session and OCWS).

If you’re not able to attend the meeting in person, you can always use our coloring pages to imagine you’re there.

Keep City Council previews and recaps coming by supporting West St. Paul Reader.

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