07/27/2016 Meeting Minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of July 27, 2016

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 27th day of July, 2016 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl and Linda Dokken-McFann. Also present were Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk, and Ben Oleson, Township Zoning Administrator. As said members formed a quorum and the meeting was called to order by Deputy Clerk Fulghum at 6:00 p.m.

Deputy Clerk Fulghum called for nominations for chairman. Dokken-McFann nominated Larry Steidl as chairman. Nominations ceased and a unanimous ballot was cast for Steidl as chairman. The meeting was turned over to Chairman Steidl.

Chairman Steidl called for nominations for vice-chair. Steidl nominated Linda Dokken-McFann as vice-chair. Nominations ceased and a unanimous ballot was cast for Dokken-McFann as vice-chair.

Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 2/22/2016 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the interim use permit application submitted by Jeremy and Bethany Olson to continue operating their cabinet shop which has been in existence at its present site for approximately 12 years.

Public Hearing: Jeremy Olson, 3430 Hazel Hill Road SE, stated they are requesting an interim use permit to continue to operate their cabinet shop, which has been in operation for around 12 years at this location.

Zoning Administrator Oleson reported that the Olsons stated they had communicated with Douglas County Land & Resource staff at the time they built their home and attached shop. They said the county had indicated this particular use was not regulated and therefore would be allowed. The Olsons were required to apply for an interim use permit from the township since 1) there was no written evidence supporting their claim from Douglas County L&R, and 2) by ordinance, the township requires an IUP for this use when operated from a dwelling site.

Oleson reported that the traffic would be primarily deliveries, not customers arriving onsite and the the town has received no noise complaints. The applicant is asking for no outdoor storage. Two items for consideration are: 1) the number of employees allowed; and 2) the hours of operation.

Oleson also noted that staff had received an email from Mr. Olson prior to the meeting asking the commission to consider the length of time allowed via IUP to be up to 20 years and to consider approval of an additional building on the property, approximately 40’ x 80’, for indoor storage.

Commissioner Hacker joined the meeting.

Chairman Steidl inquired if the applicant were to add more employees during the duration of the IUP, would they be required to inform the township. Oleson responded that the IUP could specify, as a condition, limiting the number of employees; if the applicant wanted more, the township has the option to revise the IUP.

Chairman Steidl asked the applicant if they could foresee adding more employees once the expansion is complete (the new building). Mr. Olson responded no.

Commissioner Dokken-McFann inquired about the size of the sign. Oleson stated that signage 6 square feet or less is allowed.

Oleson asked the applicant to clarify where the new building would be located. Mr. Olson stated that it would be in the same location as the present storage container, said container to be eliminated once the building is in place.

Commissioner Hacker mentioned that it appears the surrounding land is primarily agriculture as opposed to being platted.

Oleson reiterated that as of this time, the township has received no complaints with regard to this business.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.

Commissioner Dropik joined the meeting.

Commissioner Dokken-McFann commented that this appears to be a low-key business, looking more residential in nature than as “a business”. She also stated that with the amount of acreage available, she would not be in favor of restricting the location of the new building.

Commissioner Hacker also had no issue with the placement of the new building and stated she thought it prudent the applicant had included approval of the building as part of their application.

Commissioner Steinbrecher inquired if there was a design on what the building would look like, or if there were any other restrictions. Oleson responded there is a height maximum and that other restrictions would not come into play due to the size of acreage.

Chairman Steidl asked the commission for comments regarding the 20-year timeframe. Commissioner Hacker said she would be more comfortable with a 10-year timeframe, citing any number of changes that could occur within that timeframe. Commissioners Dokken-McFann and Steinbrecher concurred.

Hacker, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to recommend approval of Jeremy and Bethany Olson’s interim use permit for the continuation of their existing cabinet business, including a future building, and to include the three conditions as outlined in the staff report, with a change to condition no. 3 to read “…shall terminate 10 years after the date of its approval by the Town Board…”. Roll: Dokken-McFann – yes, Hacker – yes, Dropik – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: None. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report: Discussion ensued on possible enforcement measures for the commercial district.

New Business: none

Old Business: none

Adjournment: Being no further business Dropik, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:21 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2016


Larry Steidl, Chairman