February 26, 2018 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of February 26, 2018

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 26th day of February, 2018 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call:  Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Jarrod Oberg, Mary Hacker (via videoconferencing) 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 with the addition of Douglas County hearing re vacation rentals under New Business.  Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Haar, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 1/22/2018 meeting as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use application submitted by Larry Lehn to allow used car sales as part of a custom upholstery business in a Commercial-Urban district.

Public Hearing:  Mr. Lehn is proposing to add used car sales to his existing business of custom upholstery repair/installation.  He and his wife, Michelle, own the business called The Hot Rod Shop.  They offer customized upholstery for high end boats and cars and have obtained a dealer’s license for the sale of vehicles.  They rent the property located at 4311 County Road 82 SE from Doug Thompson.  The cars for display would be outdoor on the south portion of the lot.  They are proposing no more than 2 – 3 cars for display/sale at any given time.

Zoning Administrator Oleson reported the applicants needed to apply for a CUP as the township zoning ordinance requires a conditional use permit be obtained for any outdoor sales or storage.

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

Commissioner Hacker asked how many people are employed at the business.  The applicant said currently just he and his wife.  They anticipate the hiring of one employee.  Hacker also asked if the vehicles for display would be complete; i.e. no further repairs needed, to which the applicant replied yes.

Commissioner Steinbrecher commented that the second recommendation in the staff report mentions cars for display on both the southern and northern portions of the lot. The applicant stated that they are looking for a display area on the southern portion only.  The northern portion is used to house vehicles (boats and cars) that are in the process of repair.  At most, there would be 2 – 3 vehicles in the rear (needing repair) of the lot and 2 – 3 vehicles in the front (for display).   Steinbrecher noted that the vehicles in the rear of the lot are essentially screened from view.  Mrs. Lehn also mentioned there is an existing fence between the properties on the east side which would prohibit any overflow.

Mr. Lehn stated they anticipate this location being short-term, ideally for the 2018 year only.  They do not expect needing more than 2 – 3 cars for display at any given time.

Hacker asked if there would be any signage.  The applicants said they intend to have a non-illuminated sign in the southeast corner.  Oleson commented that any signage must stay back behind the right-of-way.  A non-illuminated sign would require only an over-the-counter permit.

Haar, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use application submitted by Larry Lehn, including the two staff recommendations listed in the staff report, amending the second one to read:  “That the number of cars displayed for sale on the property be limited to three in the south 100 feet of the lot;” and a third condition added to read: “That the customer repair vehicles onsite be limited to five in the north portion of the lot.”  Roll:  Oberg – yes, Hacker – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Haar – yes, Steidl – yes.  Opposed:  none.  Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report:  Oleson provided an update.

New Business:  Deputy Clerk Fulghum reported that Douglas County would be holding a public hearing on February 27, 2018 regarding vacation rentals.  If anyone was interested in attending, it would be on a voluntary basis.

Old Business:  none

Adjournment:  Being no further business Haar, seconded by Hacker, made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 7:09 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2018


Larry Steidl, Chairman