The River Falls City Council had a meeting on Tuesday, June 22 and the conversation was heavily concentrated around the resolution regarding proactive code enforcement.
Senior Living Facility
The council unanimously approved a general development plan for River Falls Senior Living at 700 S. Main Street and a resolution introducing the vacation of a portion of E. Park St. and Sycamore.
The plan includes an 84-unit senior and independent living facility with assisted living and memory care. 706 Sycamore St. will house four, 55-plus independent living patio townhomes.
“In 2017, the McEwen family, decades-long owners of the 700 block of S. Main Street, decided to ready the site for redevelopment and in doing so had the platted, but unpaved, alley right-of-way vacated.” Over the past few years, a few interested parties have approached the city, ultimately not receiving funding or proving economically viable.
In summer 2020, city staff began working with Matt Frisbie on a concept for the site that has been refined over the past few months. This was presented to the council.
The portion of E. Park and Sycamore Streets that will be vacated will be replaced with a new right-of-way dedication, which will measure 60 inches instead of 66 inches in width, the standard for local streets.
Proactive Code Enforcement
A resolution directing staff to “swing the pendulum from reactive toward proactive code compliance” over the next two years was presented to the council, including ordinance modifications to fine structure, parking in yards, storage of junk and abandoned vehicles in yards and storage of recreational vehicles. An element of public education and outreach was included in the resolution.
Back in May 2018, staff proposed slowly transitioning to proactive code compliance through the fall of that year. Staff were assigned to four compliance areas, using door hangers and working their assigned areas several times over the six months. This proactive approach has continued over the last three years, with the exception of during the pandemic.
The main considerations presented to the council about reactive versus proactive compliance included:
standardizing compliance deadline of 10 days
raising fines to $250 for first offense, $450 for second offense and $750 for third offense both in Title 1, General Penalty and the Zoning Code.
additional policy considerations will come as ordinance modifications are brought forward
The council voted in favor of the resolution, with only one opposition.
Pride Month Proclamation
Mayor Dan Toland proclaimed this June 2021 Pride Month in River Falls, authorizing the Pride flag to be flown at city hall through the end of this month as a sign of the city's commitment to celebrating diversity and prioritizing inclusivity.
The Mayor reappointed Tim Thum and newly appointed Mark Wespetal to the Utility Advisory Board.