WALKER -- Cass County will hold public hearings March 16 and April 6 at regular board meetings in Walker on proposed changes to the county Subdivision and Platting Ordinance.
The Environmental Services Advisory Committee and County Planning Commission have submitted proposed changes, said Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks. County department heads will comment on the changes before a final draft goes to the county board, he said.
Public comment will be received at the hearings before the county board makes a final decision on the proposed changes, he said. Copies of the final draft will be available from the Environmental Services Department the end of the week before the first public hearing.
The county board agreed Tuesday to follow the Environmental Services Committee recommendation not to grant other governments an exemption from paying county zoning fees.
Fairbanks said the committee cited the fact fees are designed to cover his department's costs to make inspections and process applications. The committee also cited the fact the state does not exempt other governments from fees and taxes it considers necessary to cover its costs.
While sympathetic to resort industry needs, the committee declined to recommend zoning revisions to address situations one resort owner cited in a letter to the county. Committee members noted three of the four questions raised could not be addressed by zoning laws.
Commissioners authorized Fairbanks to hold a departmental retreat with the planning commission in April.
They voted to recommend the planning commission consider reclassifying a corridor one mile on either side of County State Aid Highway 34 west of Pillager in Fairview and May townships from agricultural to rural residential.
The area runs from County State Aid Highway 1 to Highway 64. The change would reduce minimum lot sizes from 40 acres to five acres.
Fairbanks said there has been an increase in reclassification requests, because the area lies within the Pillager School system and is within close work commuting and shopping distance from Brainerd/Baxter via Highway 210.
There have been eight reclassifications processed in the last three years there and 27 land-use permits issued.
The planning commission will hold a public hearing before reclassifying.
Commissioners approved the nine-lot Casey's Cove plat on Stony Lake east of Hackensack in Birch Lake Township Section 4.
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