January 22, 2018 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of January 22, 2018

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 22nd day of January, 2018 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Jarrod Oberg, Julie Haar and Mary Hacker (via videoconferencing). 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: Hacker, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 11/27/2017 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use application submitted by Evan Amundson to allow a tree service business involving outdoor storage in a Commercial – Rural district. The property is located immediately north of 3408 Geneva Road NE.

Public Hearing: The applicant stated he is requesting a condtional use permit to allow for staging of equipment onsite as well as the storage of brush and chips. He also indicated that he has had a survey done and has purchased the property from Mr. Nelson.

Zoning Administrator Oleson reported that the request is for a contractor’s yard with outdoor storage. Items for consideration would be the impact upon the surrounding area, businesses, roads and utilities.

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

Commissioner Oberg asked if the neighbor to the south had issue with the proposed use, since they would be the only residential property to be impacted. Neither the applicant nor Oleson has received comment.

Commissioner Hacker expressed concern over the open storage, preferring the equipment be covered. She was primarily concerned about screening from the road. Mr. Amundson said that his long-range plan could include a cold storage building. He pointed out that surrounding businesses with outdoor storage do not have screening or fencing. Oleson stated that since the property was rezoned Commercial, the screening requirements are less restrictive than those in a residential district. With the only residential property being to the south, his recommendation is to maintain a visual barrier to the south but not necessarily to the west or north (commercial properties) or to the east (agricultural). Hacker also asked how big of a brush pile would be anticipated. Mr. Amundson said that there would be routine grinding and chipping, thus keeping the brush to a minimum. Hacker asked how many pieces of equipment would be stored onsite. Mr. Amundson said currently around six pieces comprised of two bucket trucks, a grapple truck, a stump grinder and two trailers. The equipment would primarily be housed onsite overnight.

Commissioner Haar asked about the treeline screening to the south and if the whole treeline is on his property. He replied no, only about half.  Oleson said the recommendation in the staff report specifies that the applicant would need to maintain the buffer on his side of the treeline.

Commissioner Steinbrecher asked if more trees would be planted. Mr. Amundson replied eventually, and referred to the map in the staff report.

Haar, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use application submitted by Evan Amundson with four conditions: 1) that a vegetative buffer that maintains a significant visual barrier between the business and the residential property to the south be maintained. The existing vegetation shall suffice to meet this requirement, but should these trees and brush ever be removed or die off, the applicant shall plant and maintain a row of coniferous trees along the entire south border of the property with a planted height of at least six feet; 2) that the number of uncovered commercial vehicles onsite shall not exceed 15; 3) that the approval includes construction of a future building for storage of equipment, materials, vehicles and an office; and 4) that the hours of operation for chipping and grinding of vegetative materials be limited to Monday – Friday, 6 a.m. – 6 p.m. Roll: Oberg – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Haar – yes, Hacker – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report: update provided.

New Business: none

Old Business: none

Adjournment: Being no further business Haar, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:34 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2018


Larry Steidl, Chairman