Edgerton city council has been considering an ordinance to regulate beekeeping in city limits. The subject has been discussed at the last two city council meetings. Staff has been directed to write draft ordinance for review at an upcoming meeting. Photo courtesy of Rick Poppitz
Items on the agenda at the July 14 Edgerton city council meeting also included beekeeping, staff salaries, food trucks and an emergency water plan. The scheduled regular meeting was followed by a work session.
Rezoning – AG to LP
Two ordinances, both recommendations from the planning commission, were passed to rezone acreage around Waverly road from AG (agriculture) to L-P (Logistics Park District).
Ordinance No. 1019 rezoned 62 acres west of Waverly Road and north of BNSF, changing it from AG to L-P.
Ordinance No. 1020 did the same for 71 acres east of Waverly in the area of 183rd and 185th streets.
L-P zoning means more warehouse and distribution facilities. Waverly and 183rd is very close to Gardner residential neighborhoods.
Don Roberts, mayor, advised council,”…it becomes really adjacent to our neighboring community. I think there needs to be a significant look at that interaction between the houses and what happens…”.
Kenneth Cook, community development director, said there was a buffer zone in the plan, and the commission would be open to discussion of whether additional screening should be required.
Also in this discussion, it was mentioned that although most of the land around the BNSF Intermodal was or is being zoned L-P, the BNSF property itself remains zoned AG.
Financing sewer projects
Two resolutions and one ordinance were approved to finance recently approved sewer projects by issuing general obligation bonds in the amount of $3.19 million.
All passed with 4-0 votes.
A description of Standard and Poor’s credit ratings was given during one of the presentations. Edgerton has a ‘double A’ rating, which is the third highest rating possible.
The presenter stated that Edgerton compared with larger high rated cities, such as Topeka, which also has a AA rating. Someone asked about the state of Kansas and the answer, which generated some laughter, was that Edgerton has a better credit rating than the state does.
Beekeeping in city limits was discussed for the second consecutive meeting. Edgerton currently has no ordinance to specifically address beekeeping.
After two weeks to privately consider the information from the previous meeting, including examining other area city ordinances, council members returned with varying opinions.
Darius Crist, council member, questioned if there was any need for the council to make any regulation. Clay Longanecker, council member, questioned if there was any need for beehives in city limits. Charlie Troutner and Cindy Crooks, councilmembers, wanted to allow beekeeping but with specific regulations to ensure public safety.
One likely requirement will be a set back. Hives would have to be a specific distance away from property lines. That means it would not be allowed in city neighborhoods where lots are small and homes are close together.
The city can somewhat control where hives are allowed by the distance they decide to require as a set back.
There was no vote on this item. Council directed staff to write draft ordinance for review in a future meeting.
Range of salaries
Council was presented with an updated document defining range of salary and compensation for various city officers and employees.
Staff research included looking over data provided by a Mid-America Regional Council Salary Study to compare staff salaries to other area cities.
The document lists a minimum and maximum salary for each position. Some new positions were added and some old ones were removed.
Council wanted to see more of that data themselves and tabled consideration of Ordinance No. 1021 to the next meeting.
• Council considered an ordinance amending city code to create provisions for licensing mobile food vendors.
Cook distributed copies of draft ordinance and presented the staff review.
The four page ordinance defines requirements for licensing and regulations for operation of all mobile food vendors.
The term “mobile food vendor” does not include ice cream trucks, produce stands, or special or seasonal sales.
Other exemptions include private event caterers, vendors invited to city approved special events and vendors invited to school events.
Council had lengthy discussion. It was decided to strike item A from section 5-407 of the draft.
Section 5-407-A banned mobile vendors from operating within 100 feet of a brick and mortar restaurant.
With that revision, council gave a 4-0 vote of approval.
‘…let’s roll with it, let’s get the food trucks going.” said Crooks. “If we see hurdles or obstacles we can always revisit this and update it.”
Emergency water plan
Ordinance No. 1022 amends city code to reference a “Water Emergency Plan” to be maintained and kept current by council resolutions.
Council approved the ordinance with a 4-0 vote.
Following that, council approved the Water Emergency Plan by Resolution.