Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of August 26, 2019
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 26th day of August, 2019 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.
Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Linda Dokken-McFann, Mary Hacker and Julie Haar. 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 Chairman Steidl at 6:00 p.m.
Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Haar, made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 7/22/2019 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat of Ninth Addition to Lake Geneva Estates.
Public Hearing: Scott Thompson, the developer/applicant, stated they are proposing to build eight single-family (stand-alone) homes which will have covenants similar to other homes in the area. The lots will consist of dwellings/garages only, no outbuildings. Thompson said they purchased the land from Beisner Ltd Co. and are planning to build in the same fashion as originally intended for this property.
Chairman Steidl asked if the lots would each have their own wells and driveways. Mr. Thompson responded affirmatively.
Commissioner Haar inquired if the homes across the road have covenants too. Mr. Thompson stated those homes are part of the association affiliated with the golf course and therefore not a part of this endeavor.
Steidl asked if all eight lots are buildable. Mr. Thompson stated that they are. He said he had spoken with Jerry Haggenmiller of Soil and Water about wetlands on lots 2 and 3 specifically. It didn’t appear to be an issue with regard to whether or not the lots were buildable. Currently these are the only areas that have been flagged. Dependent upon further conversation with Haggenmiller, Thompson said those lots may need to be designed somewhat differently to allow for sufficient setbacks from the wetland area.
Commissioner Hacker mentioned that if there appears to be very little water in the wetland area and no visible wildlife, why would it be considered a “wetland?” Thompson didn’t have a definitive answer and concluded it would be a question for Soil and Water. He said he has been onsite many times and has seen no discernible water in these lots.
Thompson provided maps depicting the flagged wetland area as well as an area showing the original cattails. He said there is a retention pond on the north side of the road and that the drainage from his lots will flow to that pond.
Zoning Administrator Oleson reported that no roads need to be constructed, sewer is already in place, and minimum lot size requirements are met. The primary issue is to obtain evidence that fill can be brought in if needed. The only recommendation he had in the staff report was to require that any filling of the wetland on the proposed Lot 2 be done in accordance with federal, state or local permitting requirements. If the wetland cannot be filled, all homes and improvements must be constructed in accordance with applicable requirements and setbacks. He said the commission could require that a letter be obtained from Mr. Haggenmiller prior to the commission’s submittal of their recommendation to the town board or the commission could recommend that the letter be a condition before final plat.
Thompson indicated the development will be constructed as individual lots with private wells without an association. They may consider developing in phases; however that is not their original intent. Oleson stated this would be determined at time of final plat, either developing in phases or choosing to develop all eight.
Haar asked if there was a timeline if it is done in phases. Oleson responded affirmatively. She also asked if Mr. Thompson’s intent was to begin with the four west lots, and Thompson responded yes, noting these lots incorporate the wetland area.
Commissioner Dokken-McFann noted that the wetland area does not appear to sustain water, wildlife or even vegetation.
Thompson indicated he would obtain a written statement from SWCD regarding the wetland area prior to the town board meeting on September 4th.
Hacker asked if the covenants include the driving range, swimming pool area, etc. Thompson stated that it does not. It applies to the property across the road but not to his parcels.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Hacker, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat of Ninth Addition to Lake Geneva Estates with one condition, that the applicant must show evidence that driveways can serve the proposed building sites on Lots 2 and 3 in compliance with wetland regulations. Roll: Dokken-McFann – yes, Hacker – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Haar – yes, Steidl – yes. Motion carried unanimously.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: Oleson to mail out an updated report.
New Business: none
Old Business: Discussion ensued regarding mini-storage being allowed in residential areas. Consensus to have Oleson provide an initial outline of areas where they could be allowed and/or permitted for a future meeting.
Adjournment: Being no further business Haar, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:22 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2019
Larry Steidl, Chairman