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home : news : news May 25, 2016

6/26/2014 4:23:00 PM
Multi-home plat gets North Branch Council OK, on short-handed vote

The North Branch City Council moved a multi-homesite plat forward; presented by builder Larry Beach to a short handed council Monday night. On a 3-0 vote the preliminary plat and variances were okayed, with Council members Theresa Furman and Joyce Borchardt absent. The plat, on 30 acres west of the freeway and south of 392nd, doesn’t have a “name” yet. Council heard that Beach will also need to finalize soils tests to make sure each homesite can sustain a well and septic system, as the neighborhood won’t be going onto municipal services. Lots range from one to four acres.

City Planner Ken Roberts commented the planning commission hearing didn’t result in “any red flags from the neighbors.” The motion allowed for a “temporary” cul de sac of three times the 500 foot length that the city code allows. Beach said he intends to connect the new access street to the vacant property east, at sometime in the future, making it a through street. A couple of lots were also slightly under-sized according to zoning code, but justified considering the property topography, staff stated. Council member Kathy Blomquist asked for clarification on past use of the property for land spreading septic sludge, and if that needs to be considered. Beach said the last time the site was utilized for disposal of septic system waste was three years ago. The city engineer will research if there’s a “waiting period” or any other considerations for using the site. In another matter: Andy Schoeberl got a Conditional Use Permit for a display and outdoor storage use of the corner of Hwy 95 and #30.

His vehicle sales business A & C south of town on Forest Blvd (#30) stays put and he will lease this site in the downtown only to feature a maximum of six vehicles for sale. All sales transactions and the business office will remain on Forest Blvd. He also agreed that if the site is sold or for some reason he loses his lease, the permit for vehicle display is nullified. ~ The action on adopting wording creating an Interim Use Permit for the city code was tabled until all five council members could attend.

~ The council also approved the use of a site near the high school for Fourth of July fireworks. Fire fighters’ charitable gaming revenue is funding the $5,000 event.
~ Senior Center representative Barb Nelson asked for funding for the center. She said there’s a shortfall this year and asked if the city can chip in another $1,000. (North Branch budgeted $1,500.) Mayor Ron Lindquist and Council member Trent Jensen did not second the motion by Blomquist to appropriate the funds. Jensen stated the city isn’t “required” to provide these services and philosophically he thinks private donations should be supporting the senior center. Lindquist said council budgeted an amount and that’s that. He suggested Nelson could return when there’s a full council to see what might transpire.

Also, under a host of items lumped together as “Consent Agenda” the council also unanimously revised election code eliminating a primary in North Branch. The next time people are filing for city office they’ll have the late July filing period instead of late May to early June deadline. All candiadtes will advance to the general election. The council set an assessment hearing for July 28 for 410th Street. The details on assessment fees will be presented then. The city plans to cover $155,500 through assessments to property owners-- and the rest of the improvements are coming from state aid monies.

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