City Council Briefs: Aug. 28

The Princeton City Council conducted the following business at its Aug. 28 meeting. This report was written by Joel Stottrup.

Fence ordinance proposed
The council gave its first reading to a proposed amended city fence ordinance. City staff, including Zoning Administrator Carie Fuhrman, had worked with the city Planning Commission on producing the draft. The council could now approve the ordinance at its next meeting.
Fuhrman touched on a few highlights of the fence ordinance draft. She noted that a fence can be located on a property line if one of three conditions are met: if the property owner has a current certificate or survey; if property identification irons have been located; or if the neighboring property owner agrees in writing. If none of the three conditions are met, the fence must be at least 2 feet from the reasonably identified property line.
Also, a fence within a triangular visibility area on a corner cannot exceed 3 feet in height.
Council Member Thom Walker asked if some natural material such as vegetation could serve as a fence. Fuhrman answered that if the ordinance calls for a fence in a certain spot, then it must be a fence.
The proposed fence ordinance would also allow more than just a chain link fence to be utilized in the front yard of a commercial or industrial lot as long as at least 75 percent of the fence is open for passage of air and light and provides for traffic visibility. The fence can be up to 8 feet high, consistent with other commercial and industrial fences.

Tobacco ordinance approved
The council approved a new tobacco ordinance with the main change being to include the regulation of electronic delivery devices and nicotine or lobelia delivery products. Those items may not be sold in the city of Princeton to a minor under the new ordinance.

Sign ordinance amendments
The council approved an amended sign ordinance. Among the changes are that multi-tenant buildings no longer must have wall signs of a similar design. Also each tenant may have three wall signs. The old ordinance limited it to one.
The city some months ago revamped its sign ordinance after a long study of the sign regulations by the Planning Commission. When a new ordinance comes out, it is not uncommon that something unforeseen crops up that has to be adjusted, and that is the reason for the newest amendments, Fuhrman said after the council meeting.

Talk of snow already
Josh Snyder with the Elk Lake Easy Riders Snowmobile Club and a member of the Sherburne County Snowmobile Trail Association addressed the council. He asked for and was granted a permit for a trail to cross a relatively short distance of city right of way in order for snowmobilers to access the Circle 9 Marathon gas station. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources gives money to snowmobile clubs for maintaining trails and in turn audits clubs to make sure they have followed all the rules including getting any needed city permits, Snyder noted.