Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of January 24, 2022
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 24th day of January, 2022 at the Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway, and via teleconference.
Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl and Linda Dokken-McFann, with Jessica Fettig and Julie Haar attending via teleconference. Also present onsite was Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk. 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 11/22/2021 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the after-the-fact conditional use request submitted by Mark Medenwald, property located at 6915 Co Rd 82 SE.
Public Hearing: Mark Medenwald, 6915 Co Rd 82 SE, stated he is looking for approval of a conditional use permit to facilitate the sale of his property.
Chairman Steidl stated the purpose of the request is to allow for a residential dwelling in a commercial-rural zoning district.
The applicant said the property was originally zoned Ag. He mentioned the property had been re-zoned to a combination of commercial and residential. He stated the wiring had been inspected. He took pictures of the building’s interior and met with Lynn Timm, the building inspector. In a letter he received from Ms. Timm, she states the city will not perform an inspection since so much of the work has already been completed.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Commissioner Haar asked what other aspects need to be met for building code, outside of electrical.
Chairman Steidl reported the septic system had been inspected.
The applicant reiterated that electrical, sewer and water have all been inspected.
Haar clarified that compliance had been met, then, on all aspects except for the interior of the building.
Commissioner Dokken-McFann asked when the applicant started with the conversion from just a shed to a shed with living quarters.
The applicant answered approximately six years ago. He said he had spoken with someone from Douglas County who stated he could not alter the building’s exterior. Dokken-McFann stated if the building was originally permitted by Alexandria Township, why did the applicant then go to the county for questions on the conversion. The applicant claims he did not understand that follow up was needed with the township and that the contractor was to have obtained the proper permit(s).
Dokken-McFann asked how the matter had come to the town’s attention. Commissioner Steinbrecher said it was precipitated by the impending sale of the property.
Dave Rush, Douglas County Director of Land & Resource was present and asked to respond. He said he’d been contacted by the applicant about the zoning of the property. He said the township established their zoning map in 2010. At the time the township took over zoning from the county, the town kept the county’s zoning districts until they established their own zoning districts.
Dokken-McFann asked if the applicant intends to sell the entire 21.93 acres and if the buyers’ intent is to live on the property. The applicant stated he is selling the whole 21.93 acres. His realtor, Sandy Jackson, was present and stated the buyers intend to live on the property in the “shouse.”
Steinbrecher asked the applicant for confirmation on the statement that the buyers plan to live in the shouse for 1 – 2 years and then build a house. Steinbrecher emphasized that when the house is built, the buyer would need to restore the shouse to its original use, as a storage shed. The applicant affirmed.
Dokken-McFann stated her concern that the buyers would be purchasing the property and building on an “as is” basis and thus potentially putting the township at risk of liability. Steinbrecher concurred.
Haar stated she felt the township should consult with their attorney on liability issues before going forward.
Ms. Jackson stated that due to ongoing concerns, an amendment to the purchase agreement will be done to ensure proper disclosure. Upon the advice of their attorney, the buyers would purchase the property on an “as is” basis. Ms. Jackson said this is being addressed clearly in the agreement. She will provide a copy of the purchase agreement for the township attorney to review.
Dokken-McFann, seconded by Haar, made a motion to table the after-the-fact conditional use request for Mark Medenwald for more information. Roll: Steinbrecher – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes, Fettig – yes, Haar – yes, Steidel – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Dave Rush, Director of Douglas County Land & Resource, was present to discuss recent county ordinance amendments to Section V. of the Douglas County Zoning Ordinance which encompasses natural rock riprap; clearing, grading, and drainage; and stormwater management.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: none
New Business: none
Old Business: Due to the absence of the township zoning administrator, the comprehensive plan update is postponed until a later date.
Adjournment: Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by
Steidl, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2022
Larry Steidl, Chairman