The Crow Wing County Board voted 3-1 Tuesday to approve a rezoning request in Lake Edward Township, which has generated opposition from neighbors on Gladstone Lake Road.
The rezone was approved for property owned by John and Mary Sours of Pekin, Ill., which lies south of County Road 137 and northeast of Gladstone Lake Road. Two agriculture parcels were rezoned. A 17-acre parcel was rezoned to rural residential to allow 5-acre lots and a 24-acre parcel was rezoned to rural residential to allow 2.5-acre lots.
Commissioner Rosemary Franzen voted against the rezone because she didn't agree with the 2.5-acre lots on County Road 137 in that the area couldn't handle the traffic and wetland issues. Commissioners Dewey Tautges, Paul Thiede and Rachel Reabe Nystrom voted in favor of the rezone and commissioner Doug Houge was absent.
At the meeting, John Sours said that he didn't think his request would take so long to approve. The Sours submitted their application with the county March 28 to rezone their property from agriculture to shoreland residential. The county's Planning Commission reviewed the application May 8 and made a recommendation that the county board approve it. On May 24, the county board referred the application back to the Planning Commission because it didn't conduct an on-site visit to the property. On June 19, the Planning Commission conducted the on-site visit and changed its recommendation. On June 24, the county board tabled the motion because county staff did not notify the concerned parties of the meeting.
Neighbors at the board meeting Tuesday expressed their concerns about the rezone and how the issue was handled by the Planning Commission.
Jean O'Reilly, Rogers, whose family has owned the property next to the Sours since 1954, spoke against the proposal. O'Reilly said she and the neighbors believed they were excluded from the meetings regarding the rezone and the Planning Commission did not review the application like it should have.
Kathy Heger, who lives on Gladstone Lake Road, said she didn't feel welcome to address the issue with the Planning Commission at its June meeting.
Nystrom directed county staff to look into the issue of how the Planning Commission interacted with the residents.
Neighbors at the meeting expressed concerns about traffic on Gladstone Lake Road, which is a minimally maintained road, and about the environmental impact the 2.5-acre lots would have on Gladstone Lake because of runoff with the added dwellings.
Randy Quail, of Widseth Smith Nolting, spoke on behalf of the property owners and said many of the concerns the neighbors have would be addressed in the future. Quail said Tuesday's request was strictly to rezone the property.
In other county business, the board heard from Sheriff Todd Dahl, who said Deputy Tim Pickar resigned after 30 years.
Agreed to allow Dahl to attend the National Sheriff's Institute in September in Longmont, Colo.
Entered into an agreement with Election Systems and Software Inc., for election ballot programming, equipment maintenance and printing.
JENNIFER STOCKINGER may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5851.
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