By Emily Hedges
Mayer residents will soon see changes to Schmidty’s, located at 308 Ash Avenue North. During the Mayer City Council meeting on Oct. 8, the council took the necessary steps to allow the planned remodel and expansion to move forward.
The first step was a slight expansion of City Code. For some unknown reason, specific conditional uses permitted within Mayer’s C-2 Central Business District (CBD) were not listed in the Code. This means that currently Schmidty’s is allowed as a permitted use, but as such it is technically non-conforming and can’t be expanded. By passing an Ordinance allowing convenience/gas stores, minor auto repair stations, mixed residential and commercial uses and parking lots in the C-2 CBD, the city was then able to approve the Conditional Use Permit request from Schmidty’s.
The final step was to approve the building/site plan. To do this, the council had to decide whether or not to relax the number of parking spaces required for the property, a judgment call that City Code allows them to make given the fact that downtown parking is so limited. The council agreed to allow 21 spaces instead of 39 suggested by Code.
The first change to Schmidty’s will be the remodel and expansion of the storage and office space located on the same parcel as the existing business. Schmidty’s will move into the new space as a convenience store and service station. Next, the building that currently houses the store will be relocated to a parcel owned by the applicant just south of this site. After an extensive remodel, it will be used for retail/restaurant space.
In other business, the council:
• Voted to vacate the alley that runs along West Ridge Park per request from 100 percent of the landowners along the alley. The city received a petition from the landowners, which is one way an alley may be legally vacated.
According to City Administrator Luayn Murphy, there is no need for an alley there and it isn’t being used.
• Approved a sign policy for the city’s new electronic sign planned for First MN Bank. The rules may be found online along with an Information Sign Request Form at www.cityofmayermn.com. The form must be submitted at least one week prior to the date requested.
• Approved the planting of timothy grass as a cover crop in the west side of the Coldwater Crossing development. Security Bank of New Germany hopes the crop will help maintain the land and limit the need to spray weeds until a time in the future when it may be used for residential development. Council members understand that the hay will be baled and hauled out via city streets, an activity that is common among farmers and may not be prohibited by the council.
• Couldn’t agree on a city policy regarding city warning signs. This comes after request was made for a deaf child sign from a property owner who lives in a cul-de-sac. The council plans to discuss it again at the next council meeting.
• Heard Carver County Commissioner Jim Ische give an overview of recent activities by the Carver County Board.
According to Ische, the 2013 County levy is estimated to reduce property taxes on average value homes by 2.7 percent with the lowest county budget in the last four years. He also reported that the Dakota Rail Line now stretches all the way to the county line, which completes the 44-mile trail from Wayzata. Ische, who lost Mayer and gained the City of Carver in the re-districting, thanked the Council and expressed his hope that Tim Lynch would be representing the community after the November election.
• Plans to demonstrate Mayer’s new Express Library at the next council meeting. Residents can go online to checkout materials, and instead of picking up at the branch library, they can indicate “Mayer Express Library” and have them delivered to the locked box at City Hall located at 413 Bluejay Ave. An email will alert them when the materials are ready for pickup.
• Approved closing the city office the Friday after Thanksgiving and half-days on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve.