MARSHALL - The process of converting a former Running's store into a brewery took another step forward at the Marshall City Council's regular meeting Tuesday. Council members approved a request for a conditional use permit related to the Brau Brothers Brewing Company's plans for the former Runnings building in Marshall. The CUP allows the building to be used for a brewpub in a property zoned as a shopping center.
In August, the council had approved a business subsidy agreement to help turn the vacant building near the intersection of U.S. Highway 59 and Minnesota Highway 23 into a brewery. However, Marshall City Administrator Ben Martig said the CUP was being requested by the property's current owner, R&R of Glendale, LLC.
Martig said the city planning commission recommended council members approve the permit, with conditions including that the business follow city codes and keep the building to conform with zoning ordinances. Outdoor storage, new outdoor structures and noxious odors were all prohibited.
Photo by Deb Gau
Marshall City Council member John DeCramer, left, listens as Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes speaks during Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Martig said the city didn't have a building or site plan for the brewery project yet, so the conditions suggested in the permit were general ones.
Council members voted unanimously to approve the CUP, but some had points to discuss first. Council member Mike Boedigheimer wanted to know if a condition to plant trees between the building and Minnesota Highway 23 could be made more specific, to ensure trees tall enough to serve as a screen. Council member Dan Ritter questioned why the CUP was recommended, when the city didn't have a building plan for the project.
"I'm not against the project," Ritter said, "but I think it's interesting."
Martig said the conversion of the old Runnings building into a brewery would only affect the inside of the building. It was thought the project wouldn't have as much of an impact on the overall site, he said. Council members were presented with a tentative floor plan in August, when the business subsidy agreement was approved.
Council members also approved a partnership agreement between the city and Marshall Municipal Utilities for 2013. The agreement sets the amount of money MMU would pay in lieu of taxes. The agreement also governs funding for street lights in Marshall, and wastewater and stormwater management.
Martig said one amendment to the agreement included an update to the city's laserfiche system, to make it easier to manage documents. MMU had expressed an interest in moving forward with the improvements, Martig said.
The agreement passed 6-1, with Boedigheimer casting the lone no vote. However, Boedigheimer said he wasn't voting no because he was against the contract but rather because the documents on the agreement submitted to council members were difficult to read.
"I simply don't know what I'm voting for," he said.
Boedigheimer said when the council was presented with spreadsheet information, it should be possible to get a print copy instead of a computer document.