Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of February 28, 2022
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 28th day of February, 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 5:02 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 01/24/2022 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to re-open the public hearing (which had been tabled at the January 24, 2022 meeting) on the after-the-fact conditional use request submitted by Mark Medenwald for his property located at 6915 County Road 82 SE. The purpose of the hearing is to allow for a residential dwelling in a Commercial-Rural zoning district.
Public Hearing: Zoning Administrator Oleson reported he had been unable to attend the January 24th meeting. His understanding for the meeting being tabled was that the commission decided they needed a legal rendering from the township attorney regarding liability due to the fact the shouse did not go through the required building code permitting process. Oleson reported the township attorney has been out of the office and is not due back until later this week, thus no legal opinion has been rendered on this matter.
Commissioner Fettig joined the meeting.
Mr. Medenwald’s attorney, Brit Brouillard of the Johnston Law Office, remarked on the letter his client received from the township regarding the minimum township size requirement of 24×24 width and length. He stated Lynn Timm, the township’s building inspector, had indicated it is difficult to perform any type of inspection in these circumstances (buildings in non-compliance) and that in many cases it ends up as a “buyer beware” scenario. Mr. Brouillard stated they have disclosed the non-conformity to the buyer and that the buyer is aware they would purchase the property “as is.”
Oleson stated the township attorney would review the purchase agreement and all other documents to ensure the township’s protection from liability. He recapped the situation: the building had originally been permitted as a shed and then re-purposed into a dwelling (which was not permitted). Now the applicant wishes to sell the property with a “shouse.” The CUP is to have a house in a commercial zoning district. With the 24×24 requirement, the applicant either needs to apply for a variance or bring the building to the township’s width/length requirement, either the buyer or himself.
Mr. Brouillard mentioned he is under the impression that the buyer’s intent is to build a new dwelling in the near future and at that point in time, the shouse would revert to a shed. Oleson responded that was the indication he had received from the realtor.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Dokken-McFann, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the Medenwald after-the-fact conditional use request with conditions 1 and 2 from the staff report, deleting condition no. 3, and adding a new condition no. 3 to read: that the township attorney and the town board are satisfied the township will not have significantly higher liability relating to the dwelling space (including any additional space that is added to meet the 24 x 24 requirement) not having been inspected for building code compliance; and a 4th condition to read: to provide documentation that the electrical inspection has been completed. Roll: Dokken-McFann – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Fettig – yes, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: none
New Business: none
Old Business: none
Adjournment: Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 6:15 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2022
Larry Steidl, Chairman