Builders who have waited to develop property along Highway 371 may finally dust off blueprints.
The Crow Wing County Board agreed Tuesday to lift the commercial construction moratorium along the Highway 371 corridor. A task force, which has been meeting since December 1999, recommended development rules for Highway 371 in the Unorganized Territory from Baxter to Nisswa. The ordinance will cover one fourth of a mile on both sides of the corridor.
The purpose of the ordinance is to keep an up north look. It covers lot sizes, setbacks, screening and landscaping, structure appearances, lighting, on- and off-site signs, and stormwater, wastewater and wetland management restrictions.
The task force used rules the county and cities, such as Brainerd, Baxter and Crosslake, enforce to help it come up with a proper regulation for development.
"We're in much better shape with this to protect the land," said Commissioner Ed Larsen.
Commissioner Jim Hill asked if the group discussed uniform building codes, which have been adopted by many cities. George Orning, area planner, responded that he did not push the idea because of the time restraint, but did say it would be a good idea.
Hill also was concerned about the moratorium's effective date, which likely would be early next week. He said he was concerned the delay would open a window that would allow builders to quickly buy a permit before the ordinance goes into effect.
However, Dean Williams, county planning and zoning administrator, said he cannot hand out any permits until the ordinance is effective.
"We do require them to meet the standards," he said. "They (developers) would not be able to submit a plan to meet the requirements in less than a week."
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