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City Council: Home-occupation law questioned

Park Street resident Marilyn Bostrack said at Tuesday's City Council meeting, "We're here about home occupations."

She'd learned that River Falls granted Kinni Kayak a home-occupation permit.

It authorizes Tony Pechacek and Greg Lackey to operate the kayak-rental business out of their Park Street home's garage.

Bostrack had read that the business would have at least eight kayaks to start and maybe add more in the future.

She explained that her protest was "definitely not personal" and that she'd have the same concerns about any other equipment-rental business operating out of a home. Bostrack doesn't see it as a home occupation.

"We feel this sets a precedent for others to rent equipment from their home," she said.

Bostrack asked that the City Council examine and consider changing the ordinance (17.82) pertaining to home-occupation permits to avoid having more businesses on the residential street.

After the meeting, the resident said she and her husband Jack moved into their home in the early 1960s. She cannot remember any other equipment-rental businesses operating nearby.

She said asking to have the ordinance amended might not change her situation, but it could prevent others from encountering the same concern.

Meeting actions

Council Member Bob Ebert questioned the process by which the city chooses to waive park-impact fees.

He voted no to doing so for Interfacial Solutions, saying it didn't make sense with the city facing budget cuts.

City Administrator Scot Simpson said, "We waive it primarily as a business incentive," adding that as a way of easing startup costs, River Falls has waived the park-impact fees for all the businesses in Whitetail Ridge Corporate Park.

The council then voted 5-1 (member David Reese absent) to waive the $5,000 fee.

The City Council also:

  • Heard a first reading of the resolution to approve the 2010 budget.
  • Discussed amending the snowmobile routes inside city limits, especially access on the south end of town.
  • OK'd refinancing $1.6 million in utility bonds to save $80,000 over four years.
  • Voted to pay $3,000 for immediate tree maintenance in Glen Park that will include removing about a dozen trees and trimming many others.
  • Watched a presentation on the city's snowplowing procedures and equipment.

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