Will ADU’s be expanded in Northfield? Accessory Dwelling Units are allowed but only if attached to detached garages. A push for affordable housing and rental units has increased interest along with the issue being part of Council’s Strategic Plan. Mayor Pownell commented this morning that it touches several issues including, “affordable housing, senior living, increasing density within walking distance of downtown, lower impact living and potentially needed income for homeowners”. These units could be rented. The planning commission spent 8 months on crafting a new ordinance presented to council last night, however, there were quite a few unanswered questions. This was the
first time the council viewed it. Size limits and waiving the current rental ordinance were just a couple of the issues. It also triggers other considerations such as access to the homes and parking. Even City Planner, Scott Tempel and City Attorney, Chris Hood, differed on some of the interpretations. Administrator Martig said explained the size issue as worded in the ordinance, saying, “the maximum size was a 1,000 sq. ft. or 50% of the principle unit basically, so depending on the size of your home, whichever is larger, theoretically, you could end up with, even if you had less than a 1,000 sq. ft. building, the accessory dwelling unit could be potentially larger than main unit”. Additionally, with areas with large homes, he said, “so questions came up like what if somebody were to propose a lot split in the future to try and transfer ownership on a subdivision?”. He expects to see some “clean up language” and it does merit the public’s attention. Mayor Pownell and Councilor DeLong voted against the first reading of the Ordinance. A 2nd reading is scheduled for January 22nd. Here is the link to the presentation including lot possibilities and tiny houses: 2019_01_08 City Council Supplemental Agenda Background Memo No. 2 for January 8, 2019 Click on the link to read the ordinance: 1 – ADU Ord
It’s not “just a case” to Northfield Police
The family is the priority. Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson commenting on the sad news that Mr. Joseph Camplin was discovered deceased after having gone missing in November. Sgt. PT Haider commented that it’s been tough on the family, “they’re real good people”. He’s been in constant contact with them. He said, “on our end, the Police department end, we work for the family and it’s beyond just a police thing, it’s a human thing”, adding that, “it’s not just a case” to them. Mental health cases are increasing daily and, as we heard from Sheriff Dunn, there just isn’t enough room or resources. While Officers are trained in de-escalation, there is still much to be done. Nelson said they’ll be meeting with legislators next week to discuss the issues further. He’ll be pushing for more dollars for resources. Dunn would like to see a regional treatment facility. Nelson added that across the country there are many people still missing. Here in Northfield, Josh Bohlen remains missing. His truck was last seen on the border of Rice and Goodhue Counties in 2011. His family still waits.
Nfld Freshman legislator sworn in
Freshman legislator, Rep. Todd Lippert was sworn in yesterday to represent the residents of District 20B. He said, “I’m really excited. It’s just an honor to be here to be entrusted with the responsibilities of representing district 20b and I’m thrilled to be able to be here with my family, both sitting on the floor with my children and at the end my mom was sitting with me too so it’s just a great honor”. The Northfielder will be in studio with Jeff Johnson each Friday morning at 8:50 during the legislative session.