9/28/2017 4:41:00 PM County Board sends
one-acre issue to planning
The news from the County Board meeting was all the spots at the dais were filled. County Commissioner Lora Walker was able to return. Commissioners re-arranged seating so Walker could be comfortable at the end of the dais in a wheelchair, as she continues to heal from injuries sustained in a March vehicle crash.
Commissioner Walker participated at one other Board meeting in the last six months, when she could be heard and seen via a remote internet link Sept. 6.
The full Board was ready to vote on a motion to adopt the revised Comprehensive Land Use Plan-- which was last enacted in 2007.
Commissioner Mike Robinson interjected a friendly amendment to the motion to change the wording in land use ordinances.
Robinson wanted to adopt ordinance language used in Washington County, which he provided copies of. He said there are landowners who tell him they can’t create lots on certain tracts of land because the terrain doesn’t contain a buildable acre to sustain a dwelling, now one of the requirements. He said, “It would help the county out if we could (encourage) more houses.”
The materials provided at the Board meeting only stated the one-acre buildable was enacted for plats filed after July 1997 and didn’t provide any background.
The Washington County ordinance has similar requirements for suitable area for individual septic placement on new lots, but no co-requirement for one acre buildable.
Assistant County Attorney Kristine Nelson Fuge advised Robinson the action on the agenda is for the comp plan and is not related to ordinances, which the county uses to carry out more broadly worded plan policy. If commissioners want to re-write ordinances there’s a public hearing required first, before the planning commission.
Commissioner Robinson said he only wished to raise the issue for discussion. The item was defined as an “update” on the agenda so he thought it was just going to be a discussion about the comprehensive plan.
“I didn’t think we were voting tonight,” he added.
The Comprehensive Land Use Plan then was adopted 5-0.
The one acre buildable issue, in addition to the 10,000 square feet for septic, goes now into the formal process and the planning commission sets a public hearing.
In other matters: the Board saw the year’s budget report was at 66 percent expended, and would normally be at 67 percent this time of year. “No drama,” County Administrator Bruce Messelt happily remarked. ~ The seven acre new lot requested to be divided off by Michael Granlund in Rushseba Township, was unanimously approved. ~ Flickabirds campground in Nessel Township, on Rush Lake, was approved 5-0 to add 12 sites. It has 65 now.
County Engineer Joe Triplett had no items requiring action. In his engineer report he said the road rebuild next year west of the freeway on CSAH 19, in Stacy will be for safety improvement and is not meant to tackle every issue the route has. The area is ripe for development and it will transition over the next 20 years into a very different area, he continued.
The county plans to open bids in January for this project and for the rebuild of #30 from Stacy to the Lent interchange at #17.
Commissioner Walker asked about also keeping residents informed when the surface gets torn up from Stacy northward, next year. She asked Triplett to send letters, do a website or whatever it takes to keep people in the loop.
In open microphone Sue Sinna thanked the county for the work on the Sunrise Prairie Trail and said Lent Township parks boosters were heard on their desires. A Fish Lake farm owner complained about a new dwelling on adjacent property, he said is not meeting setback and other development restrictions. A driveway (which is a township-issued permit) is over the lot line. The man was told to speak with zoning office staff and see if there’s any county involvement necesary otherwise this would be a civil matter.