Afton City Council briefs from April 16
Afton chicken ordinance revised
Afton City Council took a second look at its ordinance to allow for chickens on properties smaller than five acres during its April 16 meeting.
City Council approved two amendments to the ordinance.
In November 2011, City Council approved an ordinance allowing up to five chickens on a half-acre parcel. For every additional half acre, another five chickens will be allowed. On properties that are four-and-a-half acres or more, but less than five, those properties could have up to 45 chickens.
City Council Member Bill Palmquist said he wanted to review the ordinance for two reasons: he thought the permit fee of $50 was too high and he did not see the point of having a distinction between three and five chickens when it came to setbacks.
"I don't think we should look at these permit fees as a revenue generating thing," he said. "I don't want to prohibit a kid from having a couple chickens for 4-H."
Mayor Pat Snyder said she felt the fee seemed adequate since it is a lifetime permit.
"For a kid with a couple chickens, lifetime doesn't mean anything," City Council Member Randy Nelson said.
Nelson made the motion to regulate setbacks based on five chickens and to lower the cost of a lifetime permit to $20.
Palmquist, who said he intends to utilize the ordinance, abstained from the vote.
Afton ready to recycle
Afton City Council approved its 2013 recycling grant application during its April 16 meeting.
The grant, given out annually by Washington County, has a base funding of $5,000 plus an additional $0.50 per household for each project completed.
The grant is eligible to fund a total of four recycling projects.
The projects that City Council included in its application are: annual Afton Cleanup Day scheduled for April 22; update recycling information on the Afton website to include composting; promote the regional recycling campaign, including the Washington County Disposal Guide A-Z; and the "Get Caught Recycling" campaign.
Bridge projects approved
Afton City Council approved two bridge maintenance projects during its April 16 meeting.
The first project, a pedestrian trail bridge on St. Croix Trail South requires the bridge to be re-decked.
City Council approved the cost not to exceed $14,500.
The second project, Trading Post Trail Bridge, requires grouting and minor repair.
City Council approved the cost not to exceed $3,000.
May 7 to be 'Isaacson Day'
Afton City Council approved a resolution during its April 16 meeting declaring May 7 as "William 'Bill' Isaacson Day" in the city.
Isaacson, an Afton resident, is a decorated Marine Corps pilot who served in the Vietnam War flying more than 150 combat missions.
Sail Away Café to hold three fundraisers
Afton City Council approved Sail Away Café's request to hold three separate street dance fundraisers that will include the sale of intoxicating liquor during its April 16 meeting.
The three events include: the Uptown Afton Block Party, a fundraiser in conjunction with the Afton Historical Museum and the Afton Red Socks baseball club, to be held May 18; 4th Annual Sizzlefest to be held July 28; and the 2nd Annual Stache Bash, a fundraiser for the Lower St. Croix Valley Yellow Ribbon Alliance and the Afton Red Socks baseball club, to be held Oct. 12.
'Mother in law' apartments get green light in Afton
Afton City Council agreed with Afton Planning Commission during its April 16 meeting that no action needed to be taken in order to allow for "mother-in law apartments" within the city.
Planning Commission recommended to City Council that no change needed to be made to the city's current ordinances based on the fact that prevention of rental apartments would be regulated through the city's code.
Additionally, the ordinance that had been discussed stated that the apartments could not have a separate entrance or separate utilities.
If there were to be a separate entrance, and a fire wall, that would be defined as a duplex, which are only allowed on properties of 10 acres or more.
"Everything is covered already in the code," Planning Commission chairwoman Barb Ronningen said. "We didn't see any reason to change it."