Members of a Crow Wing County task force were divided Monday about extending a moratorium affecting shoreland development.
The county's six-month moratorium on shoreland planned unit developments officially ends June 1. The PUD task force is expected to make a recommendation at the county board's May 10 meeting. Before the meeting, task force members asked to hear presentations on the science behind the DNR's ongoing revision of shoreland rules.
The DNR is not expected to complete the revisions until next year, but it is nearly done with the PUD section. Bonnie Finnerty, county planner, and Don Ryan, county attorney, both task force members, recommended the group hear a presentation on the DNR model before continuing to forge ahead on its own. The group asked Finnerty to come up with a comparison between the DNR's shoreland update proposals and the county's draft ideas.
Crow Wing County's Planned Unit Development Task Force will meet in a special session from 3 p.m.-7 p.m. May 9 in the Service Building Meeting Room 1 near the courthouse on Laurel Street in Brainerd.
More information on the DNR's shoreland proposal is available online at www.dnr.state.mn.us/waters/index.html.
Consideration was given to extending the moratorium for 45 days while easing certain restrictions to allow resort owners to make cabin repairs or upgrades. But complications arose in determining just what projects would be allowed. Mark Haglin, task force chairman, was against extending the moratorium.
Crow Wing County Commissioner Ed Larsen, also a task force member, said he was not willing to go back to the county's old ordinance and suggested keeping the moratorium in place while the group continues its work. Ann Beaver, representing Crow Wing County Lakes and Rivers Alliance, agreed to a moratorium extension. "We have no business rushing this ordinance into place," she said.
Task force member Don Hales, representing small resorts, spoke early during the meeting against a moratorium extension.
"We don't deserve to have our hands tied any longer," he said of resorters' ability to upgrade cabins or make repairs. "If you put another three-month moratorium on you shut us down for 18 months -- and that is not fair."
Mark Ronnei, representing large resorts, suggested increasing the number of times the task force meets to once a week for a month to complete the work.
"I think we've made tremendous progress," Ronnei said, adding the group found common ground he did not expect when the task force first began meeting.
The task force is asking the Whitefish Area Property Owners Association for potential replacements for Ron DeLaHunt, who resigned during the April 22 meeting. Other options include adding a representative of one of the lake associations as several have attended many of the task force meetings.
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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