Changes proposed for New Prague Commons

The first steps for future changes to New Prague Commons were taken recently. The New Prague Planning Commission recommended the approval of two articles at its Wednesday, Feb. 27, meeting. The first was for a preliminary/final plat for a second addition to the area. The second item was for a monument sign variance.

The New Prague City Council reviewed both items at its Monday, March 4, meeting and approved them. New Prague Commons is 14.4 acres located on the east end of town. It includes Coborn’s Superstore, the adjacent strip mall and the undeveloped area in front.

The plat for the second addition covers the undeveloped area and would create two lots and an outlot on 4.28 acres. Lot one would cover 55,299 square feet (1.27 acres) and lot two would cover 34,289 square feet (.78 acres). The remaining area will be the outlot, which will likely be replatted into two lots at a later date.

City Planning Director Ken Ondich said a traffic impact study was already done for the site and still applies. Since a sidewalk fee was not previously collected for outlot A, a $100 fee ($50 per lot) would need to be collected for the two proposed lots.

Ondich said the plat was sent to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for comments. Among them was that any stormwater additions to the Highway 19 system would require MnDOT review.

Ondich noted that Fire Chief Jerry Novak commented that possibly additional hydrants might be needed for the area. Building Official Chad Lunder said he would need to see specific site plans for the development before he could determine if additional water lines and hydrants might be needed.

Ondich said city staff does recommend approval of the plat. A required public hearing was held, but drew no comment. The commission unanimously recommended the plat for approval.

Sign Variance Ondich explained the variance was to change the previous regulation for signs on New Prague Commons. Currently it allows for 200 square feet of signage, divided into as many signs as wanted, as long as the signs are located 250 feet apart. Originally, it was to keep the area looking less cluttered from signage. Keeping the current regulation would make it difficult to place signs in the area.

New Prague Commons has suggested that the eventual four lots each be allowed a single 50 square-foot monument sign and the 250 foot space between each be reduced.

City staff recommended the single signs to be no closer than 80 feet apart. The commission unanimously agreed with the recommendation.