WALKER -- Cass County Administrator Robert Yochum distributed copies Tuesday to the county board and news media of the latest summons in a series of lawsuits filed against the county over zoning issues.
Joseph P. Farry filed a lawsuit May 12 in Cass County District Court asking the court to vacate the county planning commission's April 27-28 approval for Gordon M. and Leann E. Reher's conditional use permit and preliminary plat for Cardarelle.
The plat is a planned unit development on Woman and Cardarelle Lakes in Woodrow Township east of Hackensack. Woman Lake is classed as general development, while Cardarelle is natural environment.
John H. Erickson, Brainerd attorney who filed the summons on behalf of Farry, contends Farry's 14th Amendment rights were violated, because the county refused to permit the public to address how the plat was to be used, thus denying fair hearing.
The suit contends the county "failed to require Reher to produce all information required by the provisions of the county's zoning ordinance to support a CUP application for a PUD, failed to make findings of fact consistent with such approval..." It contends Reher did not meet or exceed requirements in county ordinances.
Issues include overlapping districts. Woman and Cardarelle Lakes are within a rural residential zoning district (requiring 2.5 acres for non-shoreland lots), but lot size requirements within the county's shoreland district (one-fourth mile from shore) require different-sized smaller lots for the general development and natural environment lake shoreline districts.
Additionally, the one-fourth mile from Cardarelle and Woman overlap, leaving a question about whether the more restrictive natural environment lot sizes or less restrictive Woman Lake lot size requirements apply, the suit contends.
The suit also contends approving the plat constitutes a rezoning from rural residential to shoreline residential without a rezoning hearing and, further, constitutes spot zoning.
It contends "the county failed to require a sufficiently large controlled (lake) access lot or to limit permanent watercraft storage slips or, in the alternative, the number of permanent watercraft storage slips is excessive to the proper number of lots to be served and the said controlled access lot is undersized..."
Besides asking for plat vacation, the suit asks that Farry be paid his costs and disbursements and any other just and equitable relief. The county has 20 days to respond.
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