WALKER -- The Cass County Board adopted a resolution Tuesday permitting the Environmental Services Department to hire an independent consultant to prepare environmental assessment worksheets and charge costs to developers.
Deputy Environmental Services Director John Sumption told the board petitions for environmental assessment worksheets on new plats have increased in recent years.
Environmental impact statements will be handled in the same manner under the resolution the board passed.
Developers will be required to pay for the consulting service 20 days after the review document is given final approval. The county will issue no permits to the project proposer until full payment is received.
The board referred to the Association of Minnesota Counties the issue of how to deal with roads and other land dedicated in old plats to the public, but not currently under any government or private jurisdiction for ongoing maintenance or improvement.
Environmental Services Director Paul Fairbanks said there are many such platted roads throughout the county. Some are in use, while others have never been developed.
The issue most recently arose on a platted access to Howard Lake, which only recently has been used. It is designated "park land" in the plat. An adjacent neighbor requests that it be designated for non-motorized, carry-on use only.
Today, no one owns it, Fairbanks said, adding the DNR opposes vacating it or selling it to adjacent property owners. The access is 150 feet wide and 27 feet long.
Cass Environmental Services Committee, Planning Commission and staff will review a new state-authorized plan to allow counties to appoint a Boundary Commission to work with property owners and surveyors to resolve disputes over lot line boundaries.
The county board wants comments on the proposal before considering whether the county should establish such a commission.
Tuesday, James Gammello, Baxter attorney, faxed a letter questioning the advisability of forming the commission, adding costs to the county and potentially furthering county regulation.
His letter was forwarded to ESD to consider in the staff evaluation.
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