Basil’s Pizza seeks variance on 2 story requirement
The Northfield City Council’s 4/3 decision to require new building in the C1 district be 2 stories is getting its first request for a variance in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals. Basil’s Pizza, at 301 Water street, originally planned for outdoor patio seating on the City lot (219 Water) that became vacant, however, the Council recommended that the developer consider other alternatives to incorporate the Cannon river in the design. They’re now proposing an 18’ wide by 50’ long addition on the north side of the building to expand the indoor seating for the restaurant. The addition will be wrapped in large windows and includes façade treatments to integrate with the existing building.
However, it does NOT include 2 stories and they are seeking a variance. City Planner Scott Tempel said there are several reasons why a 2nd story doesn’t work for this property. The first is the narrowness of the lot making it difficult to design an upstairs apartment and, “expanding the footprint of the first story restaurant addition would put them over the threshold that would require a sprinkler system”. That would add a significant cost. There are residences on the 2nd floor of the original Basil’s Pizza and the egress windows are used for fire escape. Tempel said, “if a second floor was added to this addition it would block off their light and access, it would block off their egress and it would also require retro-fitting of the existing building for fire separation from the space next door”. Staff recommended allowing the variance, however there’s no purchase agreement with the Pitsavas Family to buy 219 Water St. Tempel said they wanted to have a viable project first. The motion to approve was amended to say the variance would only go into effect with a signed purchase agreement with the Pitsavas family. It was unanimously approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Click HERE for more. Click on this LINK for a rendering of the plan.
Northfield School Board adopts Strategic Plan
The Northfield School Board adopted a new Strategic Plan. The District took input from several sources including the community, board members, teachers, administrators and other school staff members. Superintendent Dr. Matt Hillmann read the Vision Statement, “We will prepare EVERY, with an emphasis on every, student for lifelong success in a world class learning environment with a commitment to Community partnerships and sustainability”. The ongoing priorities include, “prioritizing and recruiting and retaining a diverse staff and a robust core instruction”. He added that building social and emotional health is key for every student. They also plan on solving the issue of reasonable class sizes while maintaining financial stability and finally, consider the learning spaces and how to assure equitable opportunities and support for students in all career and college paths past high school.
City Clerk seeing increase in absentee voting
Northfield City Clerk Deb Little says there’s been plenty of absentee voting, adding that not only does Nfld City Hall serve the citizens of Northfield but they serve as the northern service center for all of Rice County. You can vote Monday thru Friday from 8am to 5pm at City Hall in the Carleton Conference Room thru November 7th. They’re also open on November 5th from 10a to 3p. It’s the same setup as your regular polling place, however, Little says there are a couple of extra steps to absentee voting including filling out an application, fill out your ballot, put it in a secret envelope which goes inside another envelope that you must sign and provide some id numbers on that. Little says if you want to save time, don’t vote the day before the election, it will be faster at your regular polling place. For more information go to kymnradio.net, listen to her full interview and I will post some links as well. Check out the candidate forums online as well.
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