BAXTER - The Baxter City Council Tuesday approved a building variance request for a 1,600-square-foot addition to be built onto Cash Wise Liquor store, starting this spring.
However, there was considerable discussion by council members about whether to approve the permit since they would be granting a variance on a non-conforming structure.
Coburn's Inc., St. Cloud, owns a long-term lease for the liquor store and wants to build a 1,600 foot addition, along with an enhanced roof line and a new exterior look.
The building, located on Edgewood Drive service road along Highway 371, had been a plumbing store in the 1980s and was converted from a print shop to a liquor store in 1991. The property had been platted in 1991 and the Edgewood Drive service road was part of that plat.
Bill Deblon, Baxter community development director, explained that the construction of the service drive affected the property, resulting in having road right-of-way on three sides and the property being irregular in shape. MnDOT moved this Highway 371 road alignment three times at this site. The property also has a common business driveway with Holiday gas station to the south.
DeBlon said that staff and planning and zoning commission members felt that this created hardships on the property. Council members Mark Cross and Todd Holman expressed concern that the council would be setting a precedence if it approved a variance for a non-conforming structure. The building's existing northwest corner is 16 feet from the right-of-way setback.
Council members decided to grant the variance request contingent on review by city attorney Brad Person, who was unable to attend Tuesday's meeting.
The council approved:
• A conditional use permit to expand the off-sale liquor establishment.
• A conditional use permit for a joint driveway for Cash Wise Liquor store and Holiday gas station.
• A variance reducing the parking setback from 10 feet to zero feet because of the irregular lot shape due to the development of Edgewood Drive.
• A variance reducing the building setback from 40 to 30 feet. The addition will have a setback of 34 feet while the existing building currently is 16 feet from the right-of-way.
Conditions include that stop signs be placed at the northeast and westerly entrances of Edgewood Drive.
In other council action, council members approved the assessment agreement for Baxter Town Center, LLC, where the developers will be assessed $85,160.96, including 2009 capitalized interest, at 7 percent for five years for their share of the right-of-way acquisition costs to acquire land from Bernie Roberts and Scott Watland. The total cost was $109,911.04 but $30,321.36 was paid for by the city since the council previously agreed it benefited the city.
The council adjourned until its 9 a.m. Jan. 31 strategic visioning session.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.
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