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City to look at property sale

A public hearing will be held during the New Ulm City Council meeting Tuesday, to consider the sale of a property at 1200 Water Street to Cala Contemporary Woodwork (CCW).

NEW ULM — A public hearing will be held during the New Ulm City Council meeting Tuesday, to consider the sale of a property at 1200 Water Street to Cala Contemporary Woodwork (CCW).

On July 7, the city council held closed sessions to consider an offer from CCW to purchase the city-owned property for $1. CCW intends to use the property to operate a portable outdoor sawmill to manufacture furniture and woodwork products. The building would allow CCW to increase employment and business activities. The building is currently used for storage by the PUC.

The $1 offer was accepted by the council by a 4-1 vote, with councilor Lisa Fischer voting against. Fischer expressed concerns with sale price versus the land value. She also had concerns the property was not advertised as being for sale, preventing others from making an offer.

The public hearing is required by state statute since the difference in value between the sale price and the assessor’s value exceeds $150,000.

The council will also need to consider a conditional use permit (CUP) to allow CCW to operate a portable outdoor sawmill in an Agricultural Residential (R-A) zoning district. The planning commission previously recommended approval of the CUP with the condition the sawmill operates between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. through 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and no equipment, vehicles or other material be placed or stored in the designated easement areas of the property.

A public hearing will be held on the possible vacation of a part of 17th South Street. Anthony Gulden, President of New Ulm Storage, Inc., is petitioning the city to vacate a portion of the street abutting New Ulm Storage property.

The area proposed for vacation is located east of South German Street and the bike trail, west of the DM & E Railroad and north of New Ulm Steel and Recycling. The area proposed is 5,200 square feet. The length of the street segment is 130 feet.

The south adjoining portion of 17th S. Street was vacated by the council on Oct. 4, 2011, at the request of Josh Luneburg. The street area is unimproved and there are no utilities in the street area.

New Ulm Storage will use the vacated street to improve access to the existing buildings to expand the business.

The council will consider a variance request from Paula Williamson to reduce the side yard setback from 10 feet to 6 feet for the construction of an attached garage. The property is located south and east of Boettger Road and between Bianchi and Hilltop Avenue.

The property owner is proposing to construct a new garage to replace an existing garage. City staff is recommending approval because the proposed garage would go no closer to the side property line than the pre-existing garage and would not change the essential character of the neighborhood.

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