St. James City Council approves temporary moratorium on accessory building permits

Submitted by Arely Anaya

The St. James City Council approved a resolution on Tuesday to place a temporary hold on all accessory building permits for up to six months.

After reviewing the ordinance, the city staff found there is no clear definition stating what an accessory building should be in the residential area. The mandate only includes sizes. The city staff recommended placing the moratorium to work with the planning commission to establish a proper definition for accessory buildings within city limits.

Council member Don Mackey’s concern included the resolution’s six-month period. 

“We need to realize there are people right now who do want to put in buildings,” said Mackey. “If we pass this, I’d hope we can get it done in a month.”

The council decided to change the resolution’s phrasing from “period of six months” to “up to six months” and plot to only have the moratorium for a month.  

The council also approved to make Memorial Drive (Dike Road) a temporary one-way street, running from north to south, on the second (2nd) and fourth (4th) Thursdays during July, August, and September from around 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

The request is to facilitate the summer Second Harvest Food Distribution through social distancing, where usually between 200 and 300 people are served.

Other approved items:

–A variance from the building code by Stan and Nancy Kunkel. They’re installing a 10’ x 16’ ProShed in the northwest corner of their property within a foot of the property line. There were no objections from the property owners within 350 feet of the building.  

–The street department purchasing a new front mount mower and a standup mower off the state bid pricing. The two quotes include $25,656.90 from C&B Operations and $17,150 from Arnold’s of Mankato. Street Department Superintendent Chad Stradtman stated the purchases are budgeted items.

–Two TKDA project authorizations at the St. James Municipal Airport. 1) A supplement agreement to the 2018 permission of the T-Hangar Taxilane Site Preparation and Fencing Project. Design and construction phase engineering services have been added for the installation of Precision Approach Path Indicators (PAPI) on Runway 15/33. Construction durations and fees have also been updated: 9 weeks and $98,000 total ceiling amount. 2) 2021 Airfield Pavement Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Design Project.

–A business plan for City Hall opening in compliance with the Executive Order on COVID–19.

The next St. James City Council meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 7, at 6:00 p.m.