A rezoning request in Lake Edward Township, which has generated opposition from residents in the area, was tabled Tuesday at the Crow Wing County Board meeting.
John and Mary Sours, of Pekin, Ill., requested a rezoning for their property, which lies south of Crow Wing County Road 137 and northeast of Gladstone Lake Road.
The request would change the land's zoning from agriculture to shoreland residential 2, involving about 42 acres. The property access is from the minimally maintained Gladstone Lake Road and has the potential for 22 lots on the parcels. In a letter, the Sours said they previously sold two larger tracts and want to be able to sell smaller tracts to recover their debt after buying out a family member. The request was supported by the planning commission by a 4-2 vote.
When the rezoning request came up at the May 27 meeting, the board turned the issue back to planning and zoning. An onsite visit was subsequently done on the property. At Tuesday's meeting, Mark Liedl, land services director, said after the onsite visit the planning commission had changed its recommendation but needed time to notify people through a mailing. The issue is expected back for the July 8 meeting.
In other business, the board:
Denied a request by the city of Crosby to give tax-forfeited land to the city via a special use deed instead of selling the land at appraised value. Crosby intends to use the land for a water tower, treatment and city well.
With a special use deed, the use must benefit the public and if the land isn't used as intended, it must return to tax-forfeited status. Land Commissioner Tom Cowell said the practice has been to sell land at appraised value and other area cities have all purchased tax-forfeited property at appraised value in the past. Commissioners Doug Houge and Dewey Tautges were in favor. Commissioners Rosemary Franzen, Paul Thiede and Rachel Reabe Nystrom were opposed.
Approved $39,400 for a proposal to assist enforcement in land use. Planning and zoning has about 900 open land use violations from 1999 to 2007 and 50 complaints from 2008. The county has one enforcement officer and no central database to track complaints. The proposal includes hiring a contractor to help establish the database.
Tabled a Fairfield Township rezoning request to go from commercial to shoreland residential involving about 1.5 acres.
Accepted a $1,000 donation from Ignatius O'Shaughnessy and re-established the Triad Senior Services Education fund, particularly for issues of identity theft. A dedicated fund previously existed, but was dissolved when it lacked funds. This donation is hoped to spark other donations to reinvigorate the fund.
Learned the federal mileage reimbursement rate is going up to 58.5 cents per mile in July. It currently is 50.5 cents per mile. Thiede and Tautges were comfortable staying with the lower rate. Nystrom said people have already been making up the difference, which almost amounts in a decrease to salary for workers. Commissioners asked for more information on how often the pool cars are used, which have access to the more economical bulk fuel at the highway department. The issue is expected to be on the July 8 agenda.
Accepted Assessor Marty Schmidt's recommendations following the Board of Appeals and Equalization and heard from two people who were unhappy with their property evaluations.
Approved a renewal of the joint powers agreement with the state through June 2009 to house state prisoners in the county jail not to exceed $1,025,000.
Thiede said it was a good program, but questioned a clause in the agreement that the government will provide appropriate winter clothing if offenders are released between November and May. Thiede said appropriate could be interpreted widely. Thiede suggested pink parkas.
"That's a very interesting comment commissioner," said Sheriff Todd Dahl.
RENEE RICHARDSON may be reached at email@example.com or 855-5852.
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