January 23, 2017 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of January 23, 2017

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 23rd day of January, 2017 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Bill Dropik, Jr. 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 Chairman Steidl at 6:00 p.m.

Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dropik, made a motion to approve the agenda with the addition of used building permitting under New Business. Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 11/30/2016 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use permit application submitted by Alfred Kramer to allow a used dwelling and garage in a Rural Residential zoning district.

Public Hearing: Mr. Kramer expressed his intentions to move a used dwelling and detached garage onto his property located at 3723 Airway Lane NE. He would replace the siding, roofing, windows and doors by the end of June 2017. He indicated that he will add an attached (new) garage to the house and provided a proposed site plan for his lot. Mr. Kramer also provided pictures of other home renovations that he has done, stating that the value of each home was greater after the renovations were complete.

Zoning Administrator Oleson said the township’s zoning ordinance requires a conditional use permit in most situations where a used structure is being moved onto a lot. He commented that the building (house) appears to be structurally sound; however, all of the exterior needs to be replaced. He said on these types of permits, it is recommended that a timeline be fixed. In this case, the applicant has said he hopes to have the project completed by June or July 2017. The applicant has also indicated he has contractors already lined up. (Note that the house was located in the Osakis area; the detached garage in Windom.)

Chairman Steidl asked if the applicant was considering raising the rooflines in order to make the structures compatible with the neighborhood. Mr. Kramer responded no, since the home will be different than the surrounding homes, a rambler as compared to split-entry. The home will have a full basement and mound system. Steidl asked Mr. Kramer’s intentions for the home, whether it would be his homestead or if it would be sold. Mr. Kramer indicated his plans are to use the home as his permanent dwelling. Steidl also asked if Mr. Kramer had a dollar limit in mind for his renovations. He responded around $196 – 198K.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Nick Andvik, 6044 Alyssa Lane, asked if there would be any repercussions or penalties if the renovations are not done in the specified timeframe. Oleson stated that there are protocols to follow and, if necessary, the involvement of the township attorney.

Zach Waldorf, 3599 Airway Lane, asked when Mr. Kramer plans to start digging the foundation. The applicant responded as soon as the ground thaws. The applicant said he plans on doing prep work on the exterior of both structures as well as the layout inside the home prior to the thaw. Mr. Waldorf asked about the size of the new garage, to which the applicant responded 30 x 40.

Mr. Andvik asked what the total square footage of the living quarters would be. The applicant responded approximately 1,576 square feet per level.

Steidl mentioned that a structure had already been moved onto the property prior to obtaining the proper permits. The applicant responded that he had been in contact with the township and thought he had permission to move the unit(s) since he had already made application for the permits and the z.

Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and reconvened the regular meeting.

Chairman Steidl acknowledged the concerns expressed by the homeowners regarding the permitting and notification process and asked the zoning administrator to expound on the protocols. One of the homeowners provided pictures of the surrounding homes.

Commissioner Dropik reiterated that the town has guidelines in place to ensure the work is completed in a timely fashion.

Stu Wood, 3612 Crestwood Drive, commented that property values will be significantly affected by the aesthetics of the home.

Commissioner Dokken-McFann stated that it seemed the homeowners’ main concerns revolved around the type of materials to be used on the exterior of the home so as not to bring down neighboring property values. The consensus was that this was a primary concern. Mr. Kramer said the “shell” of the home was sound and that he intends to fix up the home so it is compatible with the neighborhood and assured those present that he has contractors lined up.

Chairman Steidl mentioned that one of the commission members, Mary Hacker, was unable to attend the meeting; however, she had given him questions to be addressed at the hearing. One question was in relation to the site plan, which had already been addressed, and another was the institution of a timeline for completion of the renovations.

Commissioner Steinbrecher commented that it appeared the homeowners were concerned about the outward appearance and ensuring the completed renovation looks like a new home. He asked the applicant if the town were to institute a 6-month timeframe, would the home be completed by July or August. Mr. Kramer responded yes. Oleson indicated that the 6-month timeframe is flexible; i.e. it could be instituted from the date of the official approval of the conditional use permit from the town board, the date the building permit is approved, or just utilizing an end date of July or August. Oleson mentioned that he had received an email from the building inspectors signifying the building (house) is sound.

Denise Roed, 3874 Airway Lane, asked if the exterior will be finished in a year and if the exterior will be completed before the interior.

Steinbrecher asked if there were any concerns about the layout of the house; i.e. rambler style as opposed to what currently exists. Dokken-McFann commented that the site plan seems to meet setbacks and the zoning requirements. Oleson concurred, as long as the buildings meet the character of the neighborhood and all zoning requirements.

Charlie Roed, 3874 Airway Lane, asked what the final value of the home would be. He also asked how the final value of the property is determined; i.e. would it be from the original date the home was built or from the time it is gutted and refurbished.

Dokken-McFann asked if Mr. Kramer had finalized his materials listing (exterior), to which he responded no.

Oleson stated that since Mr. Kramer indicated he has his contractors lined up, we could require he provide a letter from his contractor stating he is ready to commence this project.

Chairman Steidl recused himself from voting and turned the meeting over to Vice-chair Dokken-McFann for the vote on the conditional use application.

Dropik, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use application submitted by Alfred Kramer and to include the condition outlined in the staff report, changing the completion date from June 30, 2017 to August 1, 2017 and that a list of contractors be submitted to the township board before the February 6, 2017 meeting. Roll: Dropik – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes. Steidl abstained. Motion carried.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat of TQM Addition submitted by Ben Zacher (Zacher Investments, LLC).

Mr. Zacher stated he is proposing to subdivide his property located at 4801 County Road 82 SE into two lots, one of which will be an outlot. The outlot is primarily wetlands and thus principally unbuildable. The potential buyer is intending to purchase both Lot 1 (the buildable lot) and Outlot A. The buyer has no plans at this time for expansion.

Oleson stated that the applicant is proposing a 1-lot plat with an outlot (an approximate 10.67 acre parcel would be subdivided into one 5.5 acre parcel which would include an existing building, a 4.01 acre “unbuildable” outlot, and 1.16 acres of the parcel would be dedicated as public road right of way for the west half of Liberty Road.) By ordinance, an outlot is considered unbuildable and must have town board approval to become buildable. Both lots meet the minimum size and road frontage requirements. The sewer district requires that both lots have access for sewer or be stubbed out for sewer. In this case, there are already existing sewer lines. In Staff’s conversation with the county, they indicated they have had only one instance where they required an outlot to be stubbed out for sewer. In most cases, either the outlot is deemed unbuildable or it is relatively large and will most likely be subdivided in the future. Oleson’s recommendation is to waive the sewer requirement for Outlot A since it is essentially unbuildable and, if someone wanted to build on it, it would require permission from the township board.

Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and reconvened the regular meeting.

Chairman Steidl stated that Commissioner Hacker had two questions to be asked of the applicant. The first question concerned what will be done with the outlot. Mr. Zacher stated that the buyer wants to leave the outlot as is. The other question dealt with outside storage, if it could be on the left side of the building or out back so it would be screened, or hidden, from view. Oleson said he has not received a complaint about the outside storage and that this is a matter that could be researched and dealt with in the future should it become an issue.

Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat of TQM Addition with one condition, that no buildings or sewage-generating uses be allowed on Outlot A without the express approval of the town board. Roll: Dropik – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat of Anderson Storage submitted by Raymond and Marcus Anderson.

Mark Jahner of Stoeckel-Jahner Surveying represented the applicants. He stated the applicants are proposing to subdivide approximately 24.86 acres (out of a 55 acre parcel) into two lots, one lot totaling approximately 5 acres and the other about 19.86 acres. He commented that the variance to waive connection to ALASD had been approved by the town board.

Oleson stated that both lots meet the minimum size requirements by ordinance. Access to Lot 1 would be from an existing approach off of County Road 81, access to Lot 2 from an existing approach off of County Road 82. He reiterated that the township board approved a variance to waive the sewer connection requirement for these lots. The applicants have a buyer for Lot 2. The town board specified they may have water (Lot 2) but generate no sewage.

Chairman Steidl asked if the county had any concerns about utilizing the existing accesses from the county roads; i.e. needing a turn lane. Oleson replied that the county had no concerns with the existing approaches off both county highways 81 and 82. Prior approval from the county would be needed if someone wanted to move the approach.

Dokken-McFann stated her concern was with adding another business in this area, thus increasing the road traffic and potential safety hazard.

Mr. Jahner said that in the transition from preliminary to final plat, the applicants may move the west lot line of the 5.1 acre lot. It would not violate setbacks or any other requirements already in place.

Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and reconvened the regular meeting.

Dokken-McFann asked if the buyers were proposing storage sheds, or some commercial-type sheds. One of the buyers, Jim Heidecker, 13156 Big Kandi Drive, Lake Lillian, responded that the storage buildings will be newly constructed, gated, fenced, the road tarred, and security cameras provided.

Dokken-McFann, seconded by Dropik, made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat of Anderson Storage with no conditions. Roll: Dropik – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report: none

New Business: Deputy Clerk Fulghum distributed the 2017 meeting calendar.

The commission discussed establishing a written policy regarding the timeline and procedure for moving a used building onto a parcel. They agreed upon the following requirements: 1) that a detailed site plan be provided; 2) that a permit be approved before moving a building on site; and 3) request that a letter from the contractor be provided with timeframes for when the exterior work will be completed. The commission directed Oleson to forward the proposed policy to the town board for consideration.

Old Business: none

Adjournment: Being no further business Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2017


Larry Steidl, Chairman