West St. Paul City Council Preview: May 22, 2023

We believe in government transparency and provide these West St. Paul City Council previews with the support of our members.

Sign ordinance changes will come before the City Council on Monday, as well as Charter changes, an exterior grant for Raddatz Dance Studio, home improvement loan program, and a philosophy of public safety.

Sign Ordinance Changes

City Council will consider a number of changes meant to relax and clean up the sign ordinance. The edits stretch to 31 pages, but the highlights include:

  • Yard signs: Changing the limit from one yard sign to a total of 10 square feet of signs. (Math please: If the standard yard sign is 18×24 inches, you could have three signs.)
  • Fences: Signs will be allowed on fences, with limits (Planning Commission recommended reducing fence signage to 3 square feet).
  • Murals: Allowing non-commercial murals across the city, covering up to 25% of a building’s total wall space (with restrictive limits in residential zones, including colors used in a mural).
  • House color: The color of your house has to match existing colors in the neighborhood.
  • More: Plenty of other minor tweaks, including a new definition of sign, content neutral language, allowing semi-transparent window signs, and more.

A separate article details the specific changes and the Planning Commission review.

More on the Agenda:

  • Charter changes: Council will consider three minor changes to the Charter—selling city property via resolution instead of ordinance (speeds up the process); a clarification that Council members appointed to a vacancy still get a vote (this codifies standard practice); and language stating that special elections comply with state law. These measures need the unanimous vote of Council, including the mayor, to pass.
  • Public hearing: Council will hold a public hearing on a reasonable accommodations ordinance that creates a policy and process for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Federal Housing Act.
  • Exterior grant: The Economic Development Authority (EDA) will consider a $10,000 exterior improvement grant for the Raddatz Dance Studio building.
  • Mixed use CUP: The Raddatz building is also applying for conditional use permit (CUP) for a third-floor apartment. The building already had an apartment on the second floor, but the addition of the third floor triggered the need for a CUP.
  • Home improvement: During the Open Council Work Session (OCWS), Council will discuss changes to the home improvement loan program through NeighborWorks. Launched in 2020, there have been about 10 inquiries in the program and only one loan currently in process.
  • Public safety: As one of their initiatives, Council will discuss a public safety philosophy during OCWS.


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

Learn more: Guide to West St. Paul City Council.

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