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City Council: City code updates, trail work and a community survey

The next city council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15. Here's a look at a few of the items on the agenda.

Three public hearings are scheduled. The first has to do with driveways, mailboxes and the definition of collector streets. New collector street definitions would designate major and minor collector streets, major having a minimum right-of-way of 80 feet with projected average daily traffic between 2,000 and 15,000 and minor having a minimum right-of-way of 66 feet with projected average daily traffic between 1,000 and 2,000. A change to driveway standards in one part of the code is proposed to bring it into agreement with another section that was modified in 2006. The city has been working with the post office to amend a section of code regarding mailboxes. The post office used to provide group mailboxes, but discontinued the service about six years ago. Its preference now is to have four to six mailboxes clustered together.

A second public hearing proposes a section on driveways be removed entirely, as it is found elsewhere in city code.

The third public hearing is in regards to nonconforming structures. The current ordinance dictates that a nonconforming structure or nonconforming portion of a structure can't be rebuilt if it's destroyed to an extent of more than 50 percent of its replacement cost. The state legislature created an exception to the 50 percent rule in 2004 as long as a building permit is applied for within 180 days of the damage. The city is proposing to add language to its code to bring it into alignment with state law.

The Hastings Parks and Recreation Department is looking to get started on work for a proposed County Road 46/47 trail. The department is requesting the council authorize funding site investigation and preliminary design for the trail. The department has set aside $124,000 for trail construction, which needs to be completed by June 30, 2012, to be eligible for reimbursement from a DNR grant already secured. The parks department is estimating it would cost up to $30,000 for brush clearing, surveying, wetland delineation and endangered flora studies. Preliminary design work could begin this fall.

The council will also hear a summary of a community survey conducted earlier this summer.

For a complete agenda, including more information on each item, click here.