Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of May 2, 2022
A regular meeting of the Board of Supervisors of Alexandria Township and the Board of Adjustment was held on the 2nd day of May, 2022 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway and via teleconference.
ROLL CALL: Supervisors present were Joel Dahlheimer, Rod Eldevik, Dennis Butz and Jerry Wright. Also present were Gregg Raisanen, Clerk, with Mona Billmark, Treasurer attending via teleconference. As said members formed a quorum and the meeting was called to order by Chairman Eldevik at 6:00 p.m.
Chairman Eldevik recessed the regular board meeting to open the public hearings for the Board of Adjustment. He reported the first public hearing was for a variance request related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage/patio approximately 20 feet from the top of a bluff (minimum of 30 feet required). The request was submitted by Noel Nemitz, property location of 4248 E. Burgen Road SE.
Zoning Administrator Oleson reported per ordinance, structures are to be set back a minimum of 30 feet from a bluff. He stated the applicant revised his site plan to reflect moving the structure an additional ten feet back from where it was staked out. While this presents compliance on the front side of the bluff (lakeside), the structure will not meet the appropriate setbacks for both the north and the south sides of the bluff. Oleson said there were two ways to measure the top of the bluff: 1) by a survey, or 2) a clearly identifiable break from steep to less steep. The applicant did not have an official survey completed. Oleson’s preliminary assessment as to the top of the bluff was at 1410 elevation. The applicant used this figure for his setback from the lakeside of the bluff. The applicant had originally requested using the 1408 elevation. By using the 1410 elevation, he will be excavating less, approximately 2.9’ versus the 3 – 4 feet originally requested.
Oleson reported the planning commission’s recommendation on the conditional use application will be considered at the next town meeting. The CUP request involves work at both the top and the bottom of the bluff. It was noted that the applicant will need approvals for both the variance and the conditional use to proceed with his project.
The second public hearing was on the variance request submitted by Mark Anderson. The request is related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage within 98 feet of a county road (100 foot minimum required). The property is located along Co Rd 23 SE.
Oleson reported the applicant is two feet shy of the 100 foot minimum required. The challenge in meeting the setback is due in part to a dedicated easement running through the west side of the property.
The third public hearing was on the variance request submitted by James and Kristen Shomion, property located at 1110 Diamond Road SE. The request is related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage less than the minimum 30 foot bluff setback.
Oleson reported the existing house would be demolished and a new home built. The challenge in meeting the side bluff setback is due in part to the configuration of the lot as it narrows to the east and the existence of a drainfield on the south side of the proposed home site.
Dion Harste of Wausau Homes stated they would move the home back to comply with the 30 foot minimum setback from the bluff, which would include the deck. The bluff setback on the west side would be 20 feet. The landowner will maintain a mound system as ALASD deemed it impractical to run a line for so few homes. Mr. Harste stated they moved the structure farther to the northeast edge to ensure they are further away from the bluff and drainfield.
Oleson reported he had received a comment from the DNR regarding the Nemitz and Shomion requests. Their comments are as follows: “DNR does not favor granting variances to build structures not meeting the required bluff setbacks. These setbacks exist to provide natural visual screening from the public water, as well as minimize erosion and safety concerns associated with construction and earth movement on steep shorelines. Variances should only be granted if all five variance criteria have been met. It appears from the aerial images and the site plans provided that there is adequate space to meet all required setbacks.” There was no comment regarding the Anderson variance.
Chairman Eldevik closed the Board of Adjustment meeting and resumed the town board meeting.
Dahlheimer, seconded by Butz, made a motion to adopt the agenda as presented. Motion carried unanimously.
Wright, seconded by Butz, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 4/18/2022 regular board meeting as written. Dahlheimer abstained. Motion carried.
Dahlheimer, seconded by Butz, made a motion to authorize payment of claims 22078 – 22086 in the amount of $21,763.17, net payroll $5,475.03 totaling $27,238.20 with no transfer of funds from savings. Motion carried unanimously.
CITIZEN’S CONCERNS: none
PLANNING AND ZONING: Dahlheimer, seconded by Wright, made a motion to approve Noel Nemitz’s variance request related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage/patio approximately 20 feet from the top of a bluff (min. 30 ft required) based on the findings of fact and three conditions outlined in the staff report with approval contingent upon a survey determining the elevation of 1410. Roll: Butz, Dahlheimer, Wright and Eldevik – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Dahlheimer, seconded by Butz, made a motion to approve Mark Anderson’s variance request related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage within 98 feet of a county road (100 ft min required) based on the findings of fact stated in the staff report with no conditions for approval. Roll: Butz, Dahlheimer, Wright and Eldevik – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Wright, seconded by Butz, made a motion to approve James Shomion’s variance request related to the construction of a dwelling/attached garage less than the minimum 30 ft bluff setback based on the findings of fact and three conditions in the staff report. Roll: Wright, Butz, Dahlheimer and Eldevik – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Oleson reported Billie Dropik has not been in compliance with the court order or the agreement he signed with the township. Consensus to have Oleson proceed with a 7-day required notice of intent to Billie of the town’s plan to begin removal and storage of vehicles in an effort to bring the property into compliance.
Oleson reported on two previously discussed violations. One is a recurrent fence issue in the Le Homme Dieu Heights area. Consensus to have Oleson contact the landowner to have the fence repaired. The second violation involved a business on Co Rd 82 SE. He stated a letter had been sent per township directive.
ENGINEER’S REPORT: Dahlheimer, seconded by Butz, made a motion to authorize Engineer Kuhn to advertise for 2500 yards of spot graveling. Motion carried unanimously.
Wright, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to authorize Clerk Raisanen to obtain quotes for calcium chloride. Motion carried unanimously.
Raisanen reported contracts have been signed for the overlay projects. He also stated deadlines had been met for mandatory reporting for federal funding projects.
OLD BUSINESS: none
NEW BUSINESS: Discussion on impervious coverage calculations was tabled until the next meeting.
Being no further business, Wright, seconded by Dahlheimer, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:13 p.m.
Gregg Raisanen, Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ________, 2022
Rod Eldevik, Chairman