The City’s Storm Water Utility

stormwater 400 x 250The Storm Water Utility is an independent City fund devoted to managing Medina’s storm water issues.  Monies in this fund cannot be used for other purposes, similar to the management of the City’s existing water and sewer utility funds. The attached letter to residents summarizes the key points of the storm water utility.

For more information on the City of Medina’s Storm Water, please visit the Stormwater Utility Page.

 

FEMA Updates Flood Hazard Maps

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently completed a multiyear project to re-examine flood risks throughout Hennepin County and develop electronic flood hazard maps, which will become effective on November 4, 2016.

Federal law mandates that any federally regulated or insured lender require any property with a structure within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) on these maps to carry flood insurance.

Most mortgage lenders will check their loans when the updated maps become effective on November 4, 2016. Lenders will likely send a letter to all properties in SFHA, and other properties that are even close to the SFHA, to notify them that they must purchase flood insurance within 45 days. If a policy is not purchased within this time period, the lender will “force place” a policy, which is normally much more expensive.

Flood insurance is available through your agent or one of the agents listed by searching the “Agent Finder” section of FEMA’s Flood Insurance website, FloodSmart.gov. If you have any kind of risk for flood damages, both in or out of the floodplain, the city encourages you to purchase flood insurance.

If you live near a lake, stream, or large wetland, you are encouraged to investigate whether your property may be “newly mapped” within the SFHA. View the floodplain map  to find your property on the map.

What to do if you believe you’ve been inadvertently included in the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA)?

There are often scenarios where the boundaries of the floodplain do not accurately reflect the true topographic characteristics of a site. In addition, it is likely that lenders will be fairly conservative when determining if a property may require flood insurance.

In much of the county, the boundaries of the floodplain have not been updated with better elevation information since they were originally mapped in the early 1980’s. This newest map update merely digitized these areas – making them easier for everyone to view. If you believe your structure and/or parcel is higher than the actual flood elevation, there is a procedure for appeals known as a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA). Traditionally, a LOMA involves hiring a surveyor to verify the lowest ground touching the structure, deck or stairs is above the 100-year flood elevation.

Under the right circumstances, the city may be able to assist with collecting data rather than hiring a surveyor. City staff may be able to use LiDAR-derived contour elevations from the Minnesota DNR to verify that a structure is above the 100-year flood elevation.

If you have any questions, please contact City Planner Dusty Finke at 763-473-8846 or dusty.finke@ci.medina.mn.us.

 

Staging/Growth Plan

City Council Amends Staging and Growth Plan

On January 20, 2015, the City Council approved an amendment to the City’s Staging and Growth Plan within the Comprehensive Plan.  The amendment delays the timeframes in which certain residential and mixed use property may be developed with City sewer and water.  The properties affected by the amendment are identified with cross-hatching in the following Map 5-3 – Staging and Growth.

The Staging and Growth Plan establishes five-year timeframes in which property may be developed with City sewer and water.  The amendment generally delays all property planned for residential and mixed use development by one five-year timeframe (for example, property which could be developed in 2011-2015 could now not be developed until 2016-2020).  The amendment also amends the portion of the Staging and Growth Plan which permits flexibility for property to “jump ahead” a maximum of five years, reducing the flexibility to two years for residential and mixed use property.  Following is information related to the amendment:

The amendment was completed following a study which included substantial public input related to the recent pace of development and concerns related to the ability of regional infrastructure to support the development.  Information on this public input can be found below.  The City has experienced a great deal of single-family development activity over the past four years (over 550 lots created and 300 constructed).  However, population/household forecasts which the City is required to follow have been reduced by the Metropolitan Council.

The amendment cannot be placed into effect until approved by the Metropolitan Council and formally adopted by the City Council, which likely will not occur until May.

The City will begin a complete review of the Comprehensive Plan near the end of 2015 or early 2016.  If you are interested in long-term planning and development in the City, you are encouraged to be part of the process.  Look for future information in the City newsletter, or contact the Planning Department at 763-473-4643 ext. 1 for more information.

 

Additional Information related to the amendment:

At the July 1, 2014 meeting the City Council directed staff to study the Staging/Growth Plan and the pace of development within the City.

The City held two open houses to solicit feedback from residents, property owners, and businesses on August 21st and August 26th. Residents submitted comments to the Planning Commission for their review of this matter at their September 9th meeting. Below are links to additional information.

Medina has experienced a great deal of single-family development activity over the past four years (over 500 lots created and 300 constructed). However, population/household forecasts which the City is required to follow have been reduced by the Metropolitan Council.

The purpose of the study is to determine if changes should be made to the City’s Staging/Growth plan. This plan regulates when a property may be developed. The reduced forecasts from the Metropolitan Council provide the opportunity to review the current and expected pace of development.

If you have any questions please contact City Planner Dusty Finke at Dusty.Finke@ci.medina.mn.us or 763-473-8846.

Monarchs & Milkweed

young-milkweedThe Monarch Butterfly Population

The Monarch butterfly populations have plummeted by as much as 90% in the past 20 years and are on the cusp of moving toward protection on the Endangered Species Act.

One of the primary reasons for this decline is the decrease in milkweed plants, which grow easily in Minnesota. Monarch butterflies lay their eggs on the underside of the milkweed plant and it is the only source of food for the monarch caterpillar. If you have milkweed growing in your yards and fields, please don’t pull it, and let it grow. Planting milkweed is one of the easiest ways that we can make a difference for the monarchs.

Residents that are interested in planting milkweed in their yards to help the Monarch butterflies can pick up a bag of seeds, free of charge, while supplies last, at City Hall, 2052 County Road 24, Medina, MN 55340 during regular business hours M-F 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Additional resources on the Monarch Butterfly can be found below:

https://monarchjointventure.org/resources – View a number of publications on Monarchs and Milkweed

http://www.learner.org/jnorth/monarchs – This organization was started by Karen Oberhauser at the U of M who has studied the Monarchs for years

https://www.nwf.org/sitecore/content/Home/Garden-for-Wildlife/About/National-Initiatives/Pollinators – The National Wildlife Federation explains the importance of milkweed.

https://www.saveourmonarchs.org/ – This organization is out of Edina, MN, and is working to provide milkweed seeds for planting. The site also does a great job of explaining the importance of milkweed.

 

Links for Purchasing Bulk Milkweed Seeds

https://www.prairiemoon.com/seeds/

http://www.prairieresto.com

https://www.saveourmonarchs.org/