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Willmar City Council to conduct three public hearings during June 20 meeting

Willmar City Council will conduct three public hearings at its June 20 meeting — one regarding assessments for street improvements and two regarding city ordinances.

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WILLMAR — Willmar City Council will conduct three public hearings at its June 20 meeting, which takes place at 6:30 p.m. Monday at Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building located at 2200 23rd St. N.E. in Willmar.

The first public hearing is in regard to authorizing the city to issue $5.6 million in general obligation improvement bonds for a length of 15 years for the 2022 street improvement program.

The total cost of the 2022 street improvement projects is estimated to be approximately $9.7 million. The city will assess property owners approximately $2.3 million, and the rest will be paid from municipal state aid, the utility improvement fund, or funds from other government agencies.

The second public hearing is for amending Willmar's zoning ordinance regulating the location of brewpubs, which the Planning Commission approved following a public hearing May 18 and moved forward to the council.

The city, in 2019, adopted an ordinance amendment regulating brewer taproom licenses and adopted a new section within that ordinance regulating brewpub licenses. However, a text amendment to the zoning ordinance to regulate the location of brewpubs was never initiated, according to Willmar Planning and Development Director Justice Walker.

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The amendment to the zoning ordinance calls for allowing brewpubs outright in the general business district and with a conditional use permit in the limited business and central business districts.

It is predicted that seniors will see the most population growth and make up a large portion of the additional housing needed in Willmar and Kandiyohi County by 2030.

The third public hearing that will take place is for amending the zoning ordinance regulating uses in the limited industry and general industry zoning districts, which the Planning Commission approved following a public hearing May 18 and forwarded to the council.

The amendment calls for removing agricultural uses, agribusiness, creameries, research and development and restaurants from the list of uses permitted with plan review in the limited industry zoning district.

It also calls for removing agribusiness, agricultural uses, automobile salvage/reduction yard, contractor shops, creameries, research and development businesses and wholesale sales from — and adding gun ranges and gun sales to — the list of uses that are permitted with plan review in the general industry zoning district.

It will also add automobile salvage/reduction yard and small scale slaughterhouse as conditional uses in the general industry zoning district.

Jennifer Kotila is a reporter for West Central Tribune of Willmar, Minnesota. She focuses on local government, specifically the City of Willmar, and business.

She can be reached via email at: jkotila@wctrib.com or phone at 320-214-4339.
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