BAXTER -- The Baxter City Council Tuesday agreed to allow a Baxter couple to build a swimming pool in their backyard with conditions and contingencies, and ultimately decided that planning and zoning commission members need additional training to make sure proper procedures are followed.
Jeff and Cindy Strobel, 1280 Chestnut Drive, said they were told last fall by a former city staff member that they just needed to apply for a $75 over-the-counter permit to build a swimming pool. However, after putting money down on pool construction and paying for other associated costs, they were told by the city this spring that there wasn't enough room on their property to build the pool. A 9-foot variance was required and they needed to apply for a conditional use permit to construct the pool.
A special planning and zoning commission meeting was held Tuesday to discuss and recommend allowing for the variance and CUP. Council members were dismayed to learn that information on the permit was not filled out by a city staff member or planning commission member but by the Strobel's pool installer.
After some discussion, council members agreed to allow the pool to be built but the authorization is contingent on whether City Planner Todd Holman agrees to allow for the permit and after he helps rewrite the permit application. Holman was at a conference and was unable to attend Tuesday's meeting.
During a workshop following the council meeting, council members requested that City Administrator Larry Kruse check into professional training seminars that could be conducted by the city for planning and zoning commission members to make sure everyone knows city procedures and to make sure the rules are followed consistently.
In other council action, the city accepted the proposed feasibility report upon final review by the city engineer for the Paige and Blair Addition.
The feasibility report for Cedardale South was accepted with conditions.
The city approved the Lakewood Evangelical Free Church utility plans and required the extension of watermains to the northeast corner property line and the west property line and required the church to enter into a developer's agreement, with no bond required, as long as the warranty bond from the contractor was signed over to the city. The city contract with Widseth, Smith and Nolting to have the watermain inspected was to be paid for by the church.
Payment to Eagle Construction for $207,012.78 for College Road construction was approved.
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