Boatworks current front

The front of the Boatworks building at 294 Grove Lane E., in downtown Wayzata.

WAYZATA — A proposal to redevelop the Boatworks property hit a roadblock on Monday, June 3, when the Wayzata Planning Commission unanimously voted to recommend that the city deny the developers’ request to change city zoning code, as well as other requests connected to the project.

The Boatworks redevelopment project is a five-story, mixed-use building proposed to replace the current two-story Boatworks building at 294 Grove Lane E. in Wayzata.

Rick Born, the owner of the building, and his team of developers asked for three text amendments. The first would allow the City Council to approve a building in a three-acre planned unit development (PUD) district with no setbacks from property lines. The second would allow the City Council to approve a building in a three-acre PUD district beyond three stories. The third would allow rooftop equipment with screening — some type of material covering the equipment. The issue most discussed at the meeting was the height of the proposed building.

Born said, “Please understand that we don’t for a minute take that lightly,” referring to concerns about the height of the proposed building and the zoning text amendments. “We understand the impact that has on both precedent and the overall impact of the site.”

Several community members attended the meeting and spoke against the proposal, including three developers with projects across Lake Street from the Boatworks building who were worried the height would affect their projects.

The Planning Commission denied all requests the Boatworks developers asked for — the changes to the zoning code and requests to approve the PUD plan, a shoreland impact plan and a conditional use permit.

According to Wayzata City Manager Jeffrey Dahl, project developers asking for text amendments is unusual but not unheard of.

What happens now

At the next Planning Commission meeting on June 17, Dahl said the body will confirm their decision about the project and then the project requests will go to the City Council in early July.

The City Council generally follows the recommendations of the Planning Commission but not always, Dahl said.

The proposal

The Boatworks project was originally presented to the city of Wayzata in September 2018. The project proposal was submitted to the city in late May 2019. The five-story building would be a big change from the current two-story building currently on the land.

Wayzata’s zoning laws prevent project developers from building more than three floors, which led to the project developers requesting changes to the zoning laws.

The proposed building would include condos, office space and a parking garage, which would have spots for the public to use.

Frances Stevenson is a reporter for the Lakeshore Weekly News, covering the communities around Lake Minnetonka.


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