West St. Paul City Council meeting

West St. Paul City Council Recap: Feb. 13, 2023

Thanks to Cardinal CornerClothesline Laundromat, and Clover Montessori School for their support.

West St. Paul City Council agreed to additional tweaks to the intoxicating THC ordinances and approved an occupancy exemption extension for the nonprofit Net Ministries.

More Intoxicating THC Ordinances

After tabling the last discussion of intoxicating THC zoning and licensing rules over questions about proximity to schools, the zoning and licensing ordinances are back for more changes. This time around Council agreed to a 1,000-foot buffer from schools and dropped a 500-foot buffer from daycare facilities on the urging of Mayor Dave Napier, who felt it was too much regulation. Other changes have been made to be in line with what the state will potentially pass.

The tweaks also lay out a specific definition of ‘school,’ which includes ISD 197’s early learning center, a point of debate during the previous discussion.

This will go before Planning Commission later this month and then come back before Council in March.

Net Ministries Occupancy Extension

Council approved a two-year extension of an occupancy exemption for a single family home owned by Net Ministries. The organization owns several single family homes adjacent to their campus for staff housing that were rezoned to allow for greater occupancy of unrelated people.

One of the homes is not adjacent to the campus, but they were given temporary permission to exceed occupancy there with a plan to purchase another adjacent home where they have right of first refusal. The timeline for that temporary permission ended in December. The new extension includes some additional guardrails in case the adjacent home were to sell to someone else for some reason.

Former Council Member John Bellows spoke during the public hearing, arguing that the nonprofit Net Ministries shouldn’t be given special treatment.

Other Items on the Agenda

  • Bond sale: The city’s financial advisor, Ehlers, gave an update on the sale of bunds to reimburse funds for purchasing the Hy-Vee property for redevelopment.
  • Park plan: In the consent agenda, City Council approved a contract for a new parks plan, which includes a community center study.
  • City pool: Also in the consent agenda, Council approved a slightly updated contract with the YMCA to operate the city pool. It will open on June 10. City Council Member Pat Armon pulled the item out for discussion, asking questions about how much promotion the contract requires the YMCA to do and suggesting next time there be more discussion about the contract.

You can watch the City Council and OCWS meetings online.

Learn more about how city council works with our Guide to West St. Paul City Council.

Thanks to our members for enabling us to do these city council recaps. Join them and support neighborhood news in West St. Paul.

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