While many members of the Anoka City Council didn’t like plans for a new garage on Fifth Avenue, there wasn’t much they could do about it.
Remington Financial Holdings, LLC submitted a site plan to the city to construct a 42- by 67-foot accessary building at 1428 Fifth Avenue, to be used as storage for Tollberg Homes.
The council approved the garage on a 5-1 vote, with Councilmember Jeff Weaver opposed. When reviewed by the Planning Commission earlier last month, the site plan passed on a 5-2 vote with those opposed taking exception to the location of the building and the exterior building materials.
There was lengthy discussion about these issues by the council prior to the approval.
The garage will have four-foot wide brick columns on the corners of the building, windows and vinyl lap siding.
Vinyl siding is not allowed in most commercial areas of the city, as it has worked over the past several years to change the types of exterior building materials required on new construction.
Planning Director Carolyn Braun said this is one of the last areas of the city where the architectural standards have not been updated.
“This doesn’t reflect the nature of this neighborhood or how it has changed,” Braun said. Nearby properties include Hans’ Bakery, Lincoln Elementary School and the Anoka Middle School for the Arts.
Brain did say Remington’s application does comply with all the city’s requirements.
“Our code hasn’t caught up to your standards,” Braun told the council.
Weaver took exception to the vinyl siding on the building as well as the orientation of the garage, which will block the view of another building to the east.
“I think personally this is putting 10 pounds of flour in a five-pound bag,” Weaver said. “I don’t think that was the best plan.”
The council did make requests that the applicant consider “prettying up” the building, as well as adding more evergreen trees to screen it from Fifth Avenue.
Mayor Phil Rice underscored that the council’s concerns were about the look of the building and how it will look on the lot, but acknowledged the applicant was complying with city requirements.
“When the code states what it can be, that’s our error,” he said.
Mandy Moran Froemming is at