Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of August 3, 2022
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 3rd 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. 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 Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the minutes of the June 27, 2022 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use request submitted by Michael and Kristi Huck, property located at 492 Carlos Darling Court NW.
Public Hearing: Mr. Huck stated their intent is to construct a new home and attached garage along with driveway and land improvements. They plan to have a significant setback from the water, 72 feet versus the required 50 foot setback. He said the disturbance to the hill would be minimal, with only the back corner of the garage touching the hillside. A retaining wall will be built to aid with drainage. Sod will be used in place of seeding to help control water. His builder, Jon Haabala, said the CUP was needed due to alterations to the property.
Zoning Administrator Oleson reiterated a CUP is required when you are digging into a steep slope and moving more than ten cubic yards of material and more than 50 cubic yards of material in a shoreland district to raise land at the bottom of the slope to allow for placement of a dwelling. He commented that although it is a steep slope, it is not quite to the level of a bluff. The driveway location would be re-located onto the property. He pointed out that the staff report, on page 1, indicates an elevation of 1352.5. It should be 1362.5. The addressing of the site would be off of Carlos Darling Court and not off the county road. The county highway department does not want any more accesses off the county road in that area. Carlos Darling Court is a private public road. He noted on the survey the platted public road does not follow the road that is maintained by the residents. This road borders LaGrand and Alexandria Townships. It was determined the right-of-way is within LaGrand’s jurisdiction. LaGrand confirmed they do not maintain the road and that it is privately maintained. Whether Mr. Huck assists in the maintenance of the road will be determined by the other landowners. Oleson maintained there had been a wetland on the property at one time; however, the previous property owner went through the appropriate process to fill it in. Douglas County Soil & Water has determined there is no longer a wetland on the property.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment.
Darren Berg, 504 Carlos Darling Ct NW, asked if the drawing was engineered. Oleson said it was done by a surveyor. Oleson also stated it was a revised drawing from what was originally submitted. The main reason for the revision was to lower the house. Mr. Berg stated he doesn’t want to be flooded out and inquired if an engineered plan has been made and/or would be available.
Kristin Berg, 504 Carlos Darling Ct NW, said she felt the affected landowners did not have sufficient time to get a second opinion regarding drainage, Mr. Huck’s driveway and the existing road, easement, and other issues. She also said when they bought their property, they were told Mr. Huck’s driveway would come off the county road and access would not be via the privately maintained road the other landowners currently use.
Al Ulwelling, 510 Carlos Darling Ct NW, mentioned the addresses they were given from the county were Carlos Darling Drive, not Court NW. This was a recent change by the county. How many cubic yards exactly will be moved? He said the road is fairly new and is concerned about damage from construction vehicles. Who will be responsible to repair the damage?
Mr. Huck stated if there is damage due to construction, it will be taken care of.
Mr. Huck mentioned currently there is no water control exiting his property. Putting his house between the other landowners and the hill will help with blocking of water runoff.
Ms. Berg reiterated the need for an engineer’s opinion regarding runoff.
James Vaughn, 508 Carlos Darling Ct, felt building code required an engineered drawing. He also expressed concern about the potential damage to the road and water run-off.
The neighbors all expressed a desire to have an engineer look at the project to ascertain the stormwater effects and future potential problems for the neighboring properties.
Oleson summarized that the commission could add conditions to any recommended approval. An engineer’s opinion could be required as a condition. Road maintenance would be a private matter. They could add another condition relating to the number of cubic yards to be brought in.
Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to table the conditional use request until the August 22nd meeting for 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. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the proposed zoning ordinance amendments.
Oleson presented draft ordinance amendments forwarded from the zoning subcommittee. He said the changes relate primarily to the table listing of permitted, conditional, interim and prohibited uses in various zoning districts. The amendments also include changes that would match the ordinance amendments the county recently adopted pertaining to riprap installations and regulation of clearing/grading of lots in shoreland districts.
The commission discussed incorporating shouse regulations, to include post-frame, vertical siding, a shed with living areas, overhead doors versus sliders, lot sizes.
They discussed the need for standards and regulations for cargo containers, such as a new containers be permitted only, used containers requiring a public hearing, and lot size minimums.
Other topics included adding a section for “acts of God,” emergencies, and event venues.
Oleson mentioned the county does not consider propane tanks as impervious nor retaining walls under 18 inches.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: none
New Business: none
Old Business: none
Adjournment: Being no further business Fettig, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 6:55 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2022
Larry Steidl, Chairman