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Planning & Zoning mtg April 17 2024 Recording

Regular scheduled P&Z meeting held on Wed., April 17, 2024 in Ely, MN. Scroll down for YouTube link.

Compare tonight’s tone, focused discussions and opinions, and completion of agenda with how things were proceeding months ago. Compare the number of anti-Council and anti-citizen comments. Compare wasted time spent on personal speeches. Spoiler alerts and hints:

(1) The new P&Z Chair Emily Roose is skilled at facilitating professional meetings, including modeling positive interactions with fellow commissioners and public. Polite, open, flexible, focused: these simple things create a positive community atmosphere.

(2) City Planning Administrator Scott Kochendorfer was complimented on improved agenda and packet preparation as well as individual P&Z binders they received. His recent PBS interview had positive reviews.

(3) Agenda Item #6 – Reports were clearer and more detailed, giving impression Commission was actually speaking to the public and others who didn’t receive or read P&Z agenda+packets. Government by, for and of the people. What’s important for listeners to know (and not just your opinions)? Thanks, Angela Campbell.

(4) Having Todd Credo record the P&Z meetings, even if they are not broadcast, is a great step towards accountability. The assumption is someone somewhere in City Hall or Council is watching. People behave differently when they are recorded. Hopefully, the public will be able to observe government in action (or non-action) when meetings are streamed free and easily accessible to all. Another important part of Todd’s task is projecting agenda and documents on the front screen. You can see Commissioners check the screen, helping them stay focused on topics and agenda. What is projected on the front screen is automatically recorded (and broadcast), so audiences at home and in Council Chambers are better involved in the discussions as they happen.

Highlights with time markers:

0:00 – 5:23 Agenda Item #5 Requests to Appear: Frederica Musgrave – Comprehensive Plan. She referred to P&Z packet page 17 (City of Ely Vision Statement) and page 20 (page 23 in Land Use & Comprehensive Plan). She retired here in the City to enjoy Miners Lake and Lake Shagawa Trails. She wanted to hear and enjoy nature in the City. She requested P&Z Commission think about nature and natural places. Think about noise ordinances. Talk with Park & Rec Board and local naturalists including Bill Tefft about “open spaces.”

Why was this entire paragraph recommended for deletion from #5 Land Use Recommendations on page 20? “Integrate natural infrastructure with the urban interface. The City of Ely could make better utilization and protection of rivers, lakes, urban forest, and other elements of the City’s natural infrastructure.”

Item #6 Reports –

5:23 – 11:20 Scott Kochendorfer City P&Z updates.
11:20 – 11:50 Emily Roose Projects Committee updates.
11:50 – 14:40 Council Member Angela Campbell Council updates.

Item #7 New Business

4:45 – 15:55 a. Emily Roose elected as P&Z rep to Sanitation Commission.
15:55 – 25:00 b. Discussion about dumpster enclosures.

Item #8 Old Business
25:05 – 25:22 a. Land stability requirement – nothing extra at this time per Scott Kochendirfer.
25:22 – b. Comprehensive Plan updating. This was a very focused and objective process tonight, reviewing paragraph by paragraph. They exchanged specific and general input about the City’s vision as well as real interconnecting problems/issues.

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