May 22, 2017 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of May 22, 2017

A regular meeting of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 22nd day of May, 2017 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl and Mary Hacker. 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: Hacker, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to approve the agenda as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Steidl, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 03/27/2017 meeting as written. Hacker abstained. Motion carried.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use application for Eastside Storage, James and Richard Heidecker, applicants.

Public Hearing: James Heidecker, 13156 Big Kandi Drive, Lake Lillian, Minnesota, stated that he and his brother, Richard, are requesting an illuminated 8’ x 8’ sign for their new storage facility, with lights directed at the sign. He said they will be staying the appropriate distance from the road and under the maximum height allowed. The sign will be placed by the kiosk and driveway.

Zoning Administrator Oleson reported that the applicants are proposing a free-standing illuminated sign. Per our zoning ordinance, a conditional use permit is required due to the illumination aspect of the sign. The sign will meet the minimum setback from the road and will be under the maximum height requirement. This type of sign is allowed in a commercially zoned area. After discussion at the site visit, the applicants agreed to move the sign to the west side by the kiosk. There were no public comments from neighbors or agencies. Oleson said he did place a call to MnDOT since they still have some regulatory authority over signs, but as of this time had not received a response.

Steidel asked if the lights would be directed onto the sign from the bottom upwards, and the applicants concurred.

Hacker asked if this would be an illuminated 2-sided sign, to which the applicants responded yes.

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

Steidl mentioned Commissioner Dokken-McFann had informed him that she had no concerns with this application.

Steinbrecher asked if there would be any movement of the approach, and the applicants replied no.

Hacker, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use application for Eastside Storage with the two conditions outlined in the staff report. Roll: Hacker – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report – none

New Business: Impervious Surfaces. Billy Beyer, 2440 Shadow Lane SE, was present to discuss adding a 27 x 40 basketball court to his backyard. Since his coverage is at the impervious limit already, he was wondering if adding Class 5 under the sport court would be acceptable.

Steinbrecher asked if there have been any studies done on sport courts. Mr. Beyer stated that he had spoken with a company representative who indicated class 5 has been utilized in the metropolitan areas. The norm, however, is to use concrete under a sport court.

Oleson stated that compacted gravel is considered impervious per our zoning ordinance. As it stands, the new court would put Mr. Beyer’s impervious coverage over the limit by 5%, thus making his overall impervious coverage at 30%.

The commission directed Oleson to consult with the township engineer on what exactly denotes compacted gravel and if there would be any other recourse. Oleson to report his findings to the resident and the commission.

Lake Jessie Meadows. Oleson reported that Joe Riley, owner of the Lake Jessie Meadows development, wished to discuss impervious surface limits on lots in the plat, noting it was re-platted in July 2015. Brad Nyberg of Nyberg Surveying stated that 2,917 square feet of impervious is allowed per lot. He said that Mr. Riley has a buyer who wants to build a house larger than would be allowed on the footprint. Mr. Riley is proposing to give up one lot (which would become common space) and utilize that square footage spread out amongst five other lots (2,917 ÷ 5 = 583.4 sq ft). No additional impervious would be added to the overall PUD. At present, the size of each lot is 4,200 square feet of which only 2,900 square feet can be built upon. Mr. Riley stated that the buyer wants to build an 1800 square foot house with a 3-car garage.

Oleson emphasized that the lot eliminated from the plat would need to be stipulated as unbuildable.

The commission asked if Mr. Riley anticipated coming back to the town in the future wanting to do the same thing; i.e. giving up another lot to utilize the square footage allowance for an additional five lots. The commission felt it would be better if Mr. Riley eliminated two lots now rather than re-visiting the issue in the future. Mr. Riley said he is willing to transfer up to two lots to the association and distributing the allowable impervious to ten lots within Tiers 2 – 4.

Oleson expressed concern as to tracking the distribution of the square footage to other lots, since the owner does not wish to identify those lots at this time. Mr. Riley prefers to distribute the footage on a case-by-case basis as the lots are sold versus pre-determining the lots.

The planning commission is recommending to the town board that two lots be eliminated and that the 583.4 square feet/lot be allocated to ten other lots in the PUD, Tiers 2 – 4.

Mini-Storage.   Oleson reported he has received inquiries about the allowance of mini-storage businesses in the residential district. These types of businesses are not currently allowed in any residential district. He asked if the commission wanted to discuss this issue and perhaps allow this use in other districts. The commission will table until the next meeting.

Douglas County upcoming ordinance amendment discussions/hearings. Oleson reported that his company is currently working with the county on a number of possible amendments, including accessory detached storage building regulations. He will keep the commission updated on any changes to the county’s ordinance.

Old Business: none

Adjournment: Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Hacker, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:47 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2017


Larry Steidl, Chairman