Top 10 List for Backyard Chickens in EP

Last Thursday, July 20 was the first official day Eden Prairie residents could apply to have backyard chickens on their property. The City Council passed a second reading of an ordinance allowing backyard chickens in Eden Prairie July 11 that became effective last Thursday. The eventual adoption of an ordinance allowing backyard chickens followed more than two years of discussion, analysis and community feedback.

I am now providing a top 10 list of Eden Prairie backyard chicken facts for those interested in having backyard chickens or for those who just want to be informed about this new program.

Here they are:

  1. You must submit an application and have the City inspect your property prior to obtaining chickens. There is a one-time fee of $75 for this application/registration [PDF]
  2. Roosters are not permitted
  3. Properties may have up to four (4) chickens
  4. Chicken-keeping structures are only permitted in the back yard (no structures in front or side yards)
  5. Structures must be setback a minimum of 10 feet from any property line and 50 feet from any neighboring home
  6. Coops must have a solid roof and their construction must be done in a workmanlike manner utilizing durable materials that offer adequate insulation, ventilation and protection from all natural weather elements, predators, rodents and other pests; a building permit from the City of Eden Prairie is required for any structure over 200 square feet
  7. Structures shall be maintained in a reasonably clean and sanitary condition
  8. Noise and odor associated with chickens are not permitted outside of the boundaries of the premises
  9. Chickens may not be slaughtered on the premises
  10. First-time chicken keepers are strongly encouraged to educate themselves before undertaking the hobby; websites that may be helpful in reaching a decision include backyardchickens.com and chickenrunrescue.org

Sunday Liquor Sales Have Begun

I have previously written about our city liquor operations and the possibility of Sunday sales. That possibility is now here, as the first Sunday liquor sale in Minnesota in over 150 years occurred this past Sunday, July 2.

All three of our city stores were open at 11 am.  This video captures the first few sales of the day.

The video certainly speaks to the modern day convenience of being open on Sundays.  Sunday is definitely a day when many of us complete our various errands and shopping trips.

However, from a business standpoint many operators feel that being open on Sundays will simply spread 6 days of business over 7 days.  Therefore, the cost of doing business on the 7th day will exceed the revenue gained from being open that extra day. A report from the Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that retail sales would only increase 0.5 percent if Sunday purchases were allowed. However, another study says that by allowing Sunday sales, it is estimated that Minnesota sales volume would increase by 5 to 7 percent annually.  And another study even mentions double-digit growth.

Now I can say we will find out the true number, as Sunday sales are now legal and we (along with other municipal liquor stores) will be tracking and reporting on all of these sales.

Finally, to promote Sunday sales we are offering an “I Love EP” T-shirt with any $60 purchase on Sunday (while supplies last) at any of our three Eden Prairie Liquor stores.

Aspire Eden Prairie 2040

Comprehensive planning is a process that determines community goals and aspirations in terms of community development. Cities across the country use comprehensive plans to dictate public policy in terms of transportation, utilities, land use, recreation, and housing.

The City of Eden Prairie has kicked off a multiyear planning process to update its Comprehensive Plan — Aspire Eden Prairie 2040 — which will serve as a guide for the next 10 to 20 years.

You have opportunities to participate in the planning process, both in person and online, before the final City Council-approved plan is submitted to the Metropolitan Council late in 2018.

Currently, we are asking members of the community to share input about specific locations, amenities and transportation within the City, with the use of two interactive maps.

Community Map
The community mapping tool is a way you can provide input on community assets and gathering spots, as well as identify potential public art locations, areas with a positive appearance, areas in need of improvement and more.

Transportation Map
The transportation mapping tool is a way you can provide input on traffic flow and congestion issues, as well as identify trail and sidewalk needs, safety concerns, transit destinations and more.

We will be collecting data on these maps through June 30, so take a look and share your thoughts, or provide feedback on what others have to say. Note, this is best done on a desktop or laptop computer, or larger mobile device.

To learn more about the Comprehensive Plan process, visit edenprairie.org/AspireEP2040.

2017 EPy Awards

Here at the City of Eden Prairie we conduct citywide employee recognition events in the spring and fall of each year. A few weeks back we held our spring recognition event where we also presented our annual employee awards, known as the “EPys,” for those who went above and beyond in providing exceptional service in 2016.

Prior to awarding the EPys, Mayor Nancy Tyra-Lukens started the event with a welcome and a few words of appreciation for our employees. We then welcomed some new employees before honoring many of our current employees who have reached milestones in their years of service with the City.

The award ceremony then followed — congratulations to these 2017 award recipients:

(l-r) Rick Getschow, City Manager; Mike Schmidt, Streets; Chris Fietek, Police; Lori King, Support Services; Lisa Morrill, Building Inspections; Marisa Bayer, Community Development; Randy Newton, Engineering

  • Lisa Morrill, Building Inspections: Carl J. Jullie Award for Excellence in Customer Service
  • Lori King, Support Services: James G. Clark Award for Excellence in Teamwork
  • Mike Schmidt, Streets: Scott H. Neal Award for Excellence in Leadership.
  • Chris Fietek, Police; Jess Irmiter, Police; Marisa Bayer, Community Development; Randy Newton, Engineering; James Goldenstein, Information Technology: City Manager Quality Awards

A New and Improved City Newsletter

A couple months ago, Eden Prairie residents received the first issue of the new and improved Life in the Prairie city newsletter. The new features introduced in this issue include the design, format and delivery method.

Because we think it’s important for the newsletter to be visually appealing and easy-to-understand, we’ve updated the design to a magazine-style format, and we’re producing the content using plain language – providing what you need to know and where you can find more information.

And now, all residents receive this high-quality publication, delivered directly to mailboxes, four times each year.

Feedback so far has been very positive, one resident wrote:

Congratulations on a very easy to read, at a glance-overview publication. I loved it.

Another resident asked:

Wouldn’t it be better to offer an option of receiving the newsletter as an online publication? Save on printing, mailing and other costs.

All of the information in the printed newsletter is also communicated through our online news and email distribution systems. We reach more than 25,000 subscribers through our online channels, plus social media, which is why we recently transitioned from a monthly printed newsletter to a quarterly publication.

However, we still see value in a printed publication and our research indicates many residents prefer this format as well.

The next issue hits mailboxes in June, we hope you’ll take a look and let us know what you think!