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City council topics: TIF, signs, fences, permits

The Hastings City Council will meet at 7 p.m. Monday, July 19, at City Hall. Here's a look at what's they'll be talking about:

• The council could approve a resolution allowing a modification of the city's redevelopment plan to include a tax increment financing district on the plot where Linn Companies plans to build a new NAPA store. The Planning Commission signed a resolution earlier this week finding the proposed district in agreement with the city's general development plan. The proposed district only covers the land NAPA plans to use.

• In response to another request from Linn Companies, the council will have its second reading and public hearing on an ordinance amendment to allow a taller sign than currently allowed by city code. Linn Companies wants to build a 12-foot sign, while code only allows for a six-foot sign. The height comes not from the sign itself, but from a decorative base to lift the sign above planned landscaping. The planning commission recommended that the council deny the request. The council's planning committee agreed that 12 feet is too tall, but that changes to the code could allow the sign to be up to nine feet tall. Staff is proposing a change to the code that allows for bases of up to three or five feet tall, depending on the zoning district.

• Also on the agenda is a second reading of a fence ordinance amendment that would require fencing or landscaping along main roads into the city (highways 61 and 55 and county roads 42, 46 and 316) to be uniform throughout the subdivisions, if any fencing or landscaping is required. The amendment would fall under the Required Improvements category of the Subdivision Regulations chapter (154.06).

• The council is also considering an amendment that would combine permit processes for temporary outdoor merchandising events and seasonal outdoor garden centers, allowing sales to take place in parking lots for 120 days.

• There will be a public hearing regarding the change in "fixed fees" for building permits. The minimum state surcharge for a fixed fee will go up from $.50 to $5.

For the full agenda and more information on each of the items, click here.