12/29/2017 11:30:00 AM County board rejects changes to planning commission size, powers
The Chisago County Board rejected amendments proposed to the zoning code that would have expanded the planning commission by two and given the planning commission the authority to decide Interim Use and Conditional Use Permits.
The Board voted 4-0 December 20, with Commissioner Lora Walker absent, to deny ordinance revisions that would have allowed the two measures.
The planning commission itself had recommended to NOT expand membership, but did recommend the permit power be granted (Jim Froberg was opposed.) County Commissioner George McMahon motioned to reject the actions.
Commissioner Rick Greene observed that traditionally people want the last word on the more controversial permits “...and in the end they come to us (the Board) anyways.”
Commissioner Mike Robinson added that the County Board gets paid and runs for office knowing they will be held accountable for difficult decisions. The planning commission meeting carries a $50 per diem and members aren’t meant to take on major responsibility like permits, Robinson felt.
Solar Hearing Jan 4 The planning commission invites all interested persons to a 7 p.m. public hearing January 4 to review the county’s solar array guidelines and regulations.
The county has authority over a permit process for smaller arrays, the State handles permits for large sites.
At this time, county zoning staff has the ability to issue permits when people apply for developing solar panel sites of less than 20 acres. The county is investigating if this needs to be changed and how.