August 22, 2022 meeting


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of August 22, 2022 

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 22nd day of August, 2022 at the Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway, and via teleconference.

Roll Call:  Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Linda Dokken-McFann and Jessica Fettig with Julie Haar attending remotely.  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 5:00 p.m.

Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the agenda as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Fettig, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 08/03/2022 meeting as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing that was tabled on August 3, 2022 for the conditional use request submitted by Michael and Kristi Huck.  The hearing was tabled to enable the applicant to obtain an engineer’s report documenting erosion control specifications, the amount of fill to be brought in from offsite, the timing of construction; i.e. retaining walls and fill; water runoff/drainage issues and elevation.

Public Hearing:  (continued from August 3, 2022)  Zoning Administrator Oleson reported the applicant had retained the services of Matt Hagstrom of Hagstrom Engineering to complete an engineer’s report providing clarity on the above-specified issues.  The engineer’s report indicated several changes to the original plan for alteration of the lo,.specifically as follows:  1) eliminates the retaining wall that had been proposed for much of the west boundary of the property (south of the driveway) and replaces it with a drainage swale that directs surface water runoff to Lake Darling; 2) incorporates a culvert under the lower part of the driveway to direct water coming from the top of the hill under the driveway towards the above-mentioned drainage swale – rather than over the top of the driveway; and 3) incorporates new retaining walls on the upslope side of the proposed driveway to better control the potential for erosion.  The report had included summarized historical findings.  Oleson also identified a few corrections to the staff report; namely, on page 4(a) – 2 proposed impervious coverage as 7698 (25%) rather than 7727 and elevation of 1362.5 rather than 1352.5; and at the top of page 4(a) – 3  under PC Action, the approval recommendation would be for a conditional use rather than a variance.

Matt Hagstrom stated the original design was sound and that he was building upon it.  Some of his recommendations included a vegetated swale; erosion control blanket; no rain garden and analysis of historic flows.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. A few neighboring landowners were present who stated they had no further comment.  Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.

Fettig, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use request submitted by Michael and Krist Huck to include conditions 1 and 2 of the staff report, deleting condition 4 and amending condition 3 as follows:  “The applicant shall maintain the proposed impervious coverage at or below 25%.”  Roll:  Fettig – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes, Steidl – yes, Haar – yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

New Business:  none

Old Business:  Zoning Administrator Oleson summarized the proposed zoning amendment changes as brought forth from the August 3, 2022 meeting:  1) the addition of a definition for “shouse” and two added lines to the land use table where shouses are considered permitted or prohibited; 2) the addition of a definition for “cargo container” and a new subsection within Section V.J (Accessory Buildings) establishing standards and requirements related to the placement of cargo containers on properties; and 3) a new subsection within Section V.! (Erosion Control and Stormwater Management) that regulates “intensive vegetation clearing” (already defined in the current ordinance) on lots greater than five acres in size and meeting several other conditions.)  The amendments also include changes that would match the ordinance amendments the county recently adopted relating to riprap installations/regulations and clearing/grading of lots in shoreland districts.

In review of the staff report, discussion entailed on page 7 changing the permitted use designation for a shouse on parcels 5 acres or larger from a permitted use under RS to a CUP.  On page 114 under g. Cargo Containers, they discussed adding verbage for setbacks; under i. rather than “in all zoning districts” to indicate where allowed and the section from the table; to delete the verbage “allowable materials to be stored within the container”; under v.(d) to include language “legally allowed.”  They also mentioned including in this section language of meeting setbacks.  On page 147 under 4.(a)(2 and 3), this discussed whether this should require a CUP.  Also, under no. 2, whether it should include “contiguously controlled land).  On page 230, they discussed the definition of a “shouse” and decided it should read:  “a structure that outwardly resembles a large shed, shop, agricultural building or other similar structure built with post/pole-frame construction and whose interior is at least partially composed of dwelling space.”

Consensus to hold a public hearing on September 26, 2022 on the proposed zoning amendment changes.  Oleson to provide a new draft based upon the aforementioned discussion.

Zoning Administrator’s Report:  Oleson reported the town received an application for a lot line adjustment converting four lots into three.  This will be brought up at the town’s September 7, 2022 meeting.

Adjournment:  Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Fettig, made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 7:19 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2022


Larry Steidl, Chairman