An ordinance to annex all properties encircled by Brainerd isn't sitting well with residents on 28th Street.
Lorraine Millam, a 28th Street resident speaking on behalf of several of her neighbors, told the Brainerd Planning Commission on Thursday that despite the efforts of the commission and Brainerd City Council member Gary Scheeler, they do not want to be annexed into the city.
"Years ago we fought annexation, and we still don't want to be annexed," said Millam. "We moved into the country because we wanted to be in the country."
Scheeler said he believed everyone in that neighborhood agreed to be annexed. He also said that with the turnover of Oak Street/Highway 18 in Brainerd from the Minnesota Department of Transportation to the city, the city needs to annex that land for road improvements.
By state law, a parcel of land completely surrounded by the city can automatically be annexed by ordinance.
Along with the 28th Street area, five other areas were recommended to the city council for annexation: an area of city-owned property in Lum Park, an area on Highway 210 near the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport, an area on Highway 18 near the intersection with Highway 25 and two parcels off of Highway 371 near the Ramada Inn.
The commission at first considered forwarding the decision on 28th Street to the council without recommendation, but commission chair Ed Menk felt a recommendation should be made in light of the Oak Street/Highway 18 turn back.
When council member Debbie Olander got up to invite Millam to meet with city staff to discuss the positives and negatives of annexation, Scheeler asked Olander to address the commission or she and Millam could take their conversation out into the hallway at city hall.
"We're both at the microphone," retorted Millam to Scheeler. "You've had plenty of conversations about this (annexation) without me."
In other action, the commission recommended to the city council:
To raise the rates for a conditional use permit, from $50 to $190; for a variance, from $100 to $220; and for a zone change, from $100 to $250.
To amend the city's zoning ordinance to prohibit the use of portable shipping containers within the city. Also, the commission recommended placing a one-year moratorium on allowing such containers while the ordinance is being discussed by the city council.
To approve a conditional use permit for Oakridge Woodview, which provides residential and support services to people with special needs, to place offices in the former Candleman Building in the Brainerd Industrial Park.
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