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Liquor license transfer denied by town of Troy

The town of Troy did not approve a liquor license transfer agreement with the city of Hudson, the Hudson Common Council heard Monday night.

The city made the request for the transfer in January on behalf of local restaurant owner Paul Rode.

At the time the city did not have any liquor licenses left to award. The number of licenses a municipality can award is based on population.

City Attorney Catherine Munkittrick said the lack of a four-month time period was an issue to some of the board members. Munkittrick had previously told the council that the state statute does not allow the town to set a time limit for the city to award the license.

If approved, the applicant would have paid the license fee of $30,000 to the town of Troy. After that it would become a regular city of Hudson license. Munkittrick said once the license is transferred, it cannot be transferred back.

Council Member Sarah Atkins Hoggatt said she had heard from restaurant owners that they were upset with the idea of the transfer and allowing someone else to work outside the current rules that others followed.

Munkittrick said the transfer is allowed under state statute.

"It's not something that the city invented," she said.

Council Member Randy Morrissette II said the transfer option should not be taken off the table as the city continues to grow.

"Being close-minded on it doesn't help us at all," he said.

City Administrator Devin Willi said a liquor license has been surrendered by Cheers Pablo, and will be up for application.

Road acquisition

The city is looking into acquiring a portion of Old Highway 35 between Stageline and Hanley roads from the town of Hudson.

The city has received a rezoning request for a parcel at the corner of Old Highway 35 and High Ridge Drive. The proposal is to rezone the land from RM-1 to RM-2, high-density multi family, Public Works Director Mike Mroz said.

The town of Hudson, which currently has jurisdiction over the area of Old Highway 35, is concerned about the amount of traffic that would occur if the parcel was developed, Mroz said.

Currently the parcel does not have access to Old Highway 35, and Mroz said town of Hudson is not inclined to add one. That would leave all traffic to be routed through the existing development on Meadowlark Drive, which staff does not recommend.

The city could develop a draft agreement with town of Hudson to take over jurisdiction of the road. Mroz said he did not see the town of Hudson having any objections in turning the road over to the city.

Mroz said the road will be in need of repairs over the next two or three years, but that is something that could be negotiated with the developer if the rezoning and project is improved.

Nick Vivian, who represents the developer interested in the parcel, said if the rezoning is approved the development will be made up of 151 units. Access is an important piece as the developer looks at possibly purchasing the property, he said.

Even at the 97 units allowed without rezoning, Vivian said staff recommends traffic not be funneled up through Meadowlark Drive. Regardless of rezoning he said the city will have to solve this issue one way or another.

Council Member Bill Alms asked about the park and ride near the parcel. Mroz said that parcel is in the town of Hudson, owned by the state and managed by the county. Community Development Director Mike Johnson has reached out to the state to see if the city could take it over. He said he has seen it done in other places, but couldn't say if the state would want to do so in this instance.

Alms said before the process continues he'd like to hear back from the state on the park and ride.

High-capacity well appeal

After a closed session the council approved engaging legal services to pursue an appeal of a DNR decision to approve a high-capacity well within the city limits.

Council Member Paul Deziel said the council thinks the decision sets a bad precedence. He said the city is concerned about having sufficient water supply for its business, residential and public safety needs.

Council President

After two rounds resulting in ties, a coin flip designated Council Member Joyce Hall as president of the council over other nominee Council Member Bill Alms.

Rebecca Mariscal

Rebecca Mariscal joined the Hudson Star Observer as a reporter in 2016. She graduated from the University of St. Thomas with a degree in communication and journalism. 

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