Two Harbors City Planner Justin Otsea gave the City Council some welcomed news Monday, Aug. 12, regarding a $10,000 matching grant from the Minnesota Lake Superior Coastal Program annual grant to revise the entire zoning code.
"That involves modernizing the uses, looking at definitions," Otsea said. "I think accessory structures will certainly be looked at pretty closely considering the issues we’ve had with them over the years."
The city has a 16-month window to begin the revisions. With that short time period in mind, Otsea and President Robin Glaser asked the council for permission to have the planning commission meeting twice a month through the course of the project.
"The planning commission spends a lot of time dealing with variances and such so getting through our agenda is at times insurmountable. Our meetings often run two hours long," Glaser said. "My thought is that it would be in the best interest to meet twice a month, then one of the meetings could be dedicated strictly on the zoning because it’s going to be a big project."
The council didn't vote on the issue, but a few councilors gave a verbal approval for the idea.
Community development planner position added
City Administrator Dan Walker presented the council with the job description for a new community development planner position. A permanent full-time staff planner was budgeted to be filled in 2019.
Currently, the city contracts with the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission for planning support and two days of office time per week.
The councilors present unanimously approved the job description and the posting of the job, which is expected to be filled by Oct. 1.