Golf Driving Range Standards
The owners of Golf Zone, a golf driving range, are requesting that the City Code be amended to permit golf driving ranges meeting state licensing requirements to receive a wine license due to the difficulty in acquiring 3.2 percent malt liquor. While reviewing the relevant section of the City Code, staff discovered that this section of the City Code does not reflect the fact that Highway 212 was relocated in 2008 and the hours of operation do not reflect what the driving range was previously approved for.
The owners of Golf Zone have discovered that due to Minnesota being the only state to still have 3.2 beer, many distributors no longer carry it and it is very difficult to acquire 3.2 beer in diverse styles. They are requesting that the city amend the Interim Use Permit (IUP) standards for golf driving ranges to allow from them to apply for and receive a wine license. State law and the City Code allow an organization with both a wine and 3.2 malt liquor license to sell beer with over 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, in addition to wine. The City Code currently allows golf courses to hold both 3.2 malt liquor and wine licenses. Due to the legitimate difficulties in sourcing 3.2 beer and the similarities between golf courses and driving ranges, staff supports the requested amendment.
In reviewing this section of the City Code, staff also noticed that the IUP standards require golf driving ranges to be located adjacent to Highway 5 or Highway 212. At the time this standard was enacted, Highway 212 was located where Flying Cloud Drive currently is. The revised location of Highway 212 means the standard no longer aligns with the city’s intended and approved locations for golf driving ranges. Staff is proposing amending the standard to reflect the city’s intention to limit these uses to the Highway 5 and County Road 61 corridors.
Finally, the IUP standards limit golf driving ranges to operating from sunrise to sunset; however, in 1999, City Council granted an extension to allow Golf Zone to stay open until 9:00 p.m. year round. This extension was not recorded as a variance and would have expired when IUP 1998-2 lapsed. Given the driving range’s business model, the surrounding land uses, and the fact that the sunsets around 4:30 p.m. in the winter, staff proposes codifying this extension by replacing the sunrise to sunset provision with 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. hours of operation.
The following sections of the Chanhassen City Code is subject to changes:
- Section 20 - Zoning
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