January 25, 2021 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of January 25, 2021

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 25th day of January, 2021 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway and via teleconference.

Roll Call:  Commission members onsite were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl and Linda Dokken-McFann, with Julie Haar attending virtually.  Also onsite 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 6:00 p.m.

Agenda: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the agenda with the addition of meeting time change under New Business.  Motion carried unanimously.

Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 10/26/2020 meeting as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use request submitted by Robert and Laura Griffith.  The property is located at 2430 Little Norway SE.

Public Hearing:  The applicants and their contractor, Peter Anderson of All Around Companies, Inc. stated the purpose of their application is to address erosion problems inherent in the current configuration of their property.  The proposal is as follows: to install a new in-ground stairway, rock alongside the stairway for water management, two retaining walls, a sand beach area and rip rap along the shoreline where it doesn’t already exist as well as removal of an existing patio near the lake.  The stairway would start partway down the hillside and extend to the near shore area of the lot.  One of the retaining walls would be three feet tall and would be used to create a beach area near the shoreline on a flatter portion of the land.  The other retaining wall would be 3-4 feet tall and be located partway up the hillside to help make space for the proposed stairway.

Zoning Administrator Oleson remarked that a conditional use permit is not required for the steps, but is deemed necessary due to the following factors: 1) the combined total of the work would exceed the ten cubic yards limit of disturbed soil; 2) that the work performed would be located in a bluff or steep slope area; and 3) a retaining wall would be built exceeding three feet in height.  He mentioned that due to the topography, there is no prevalent drainage issue.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.

Commissioner Dokken-McFann inquired as to their plan for erosion control and what type of material would be used for the retaining wall.

Dokken-McFann, seconded by Haar, made a motion to recommend approval of the conditional use permit request submitted by the Griffiths per the findings of fact and the two conditions outlined in the staff report addressing erosion and sedimentation control measures and a permanent stormwater management plan.  Roll: Haar – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Dokken-McFann – yes, Steidl – yes.  Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report:  none

New Business:  Consensus to move the planning commission meetings from 6 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning with the meeting in February.

Town board supervisors Eldevik and Oberg joined the meeting for the discussion on shouse buildings.  Following is a summary of that discussion and items to be addressed: actual definition of a shouse, whether it should be post-frame construction or stick-built; treated as an accessory building or as a house; the acreage/lot size minimums; aesthetics; limitations on use, such as not allowing it to become a rental unit; the zoning districts they would be allowed in; if an interim use permit would be required when applying for a traditional home/garage on the same parcel; square foot maximum in size; the current regulations with regard to two dwellings on the same parcel and the current practice of allowing guest cottages.  Consensus to have Oleson provide draft language outlining parameters inclusive of the above.

Old Business:  none

Adjournment:  Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 7:41 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2021


Larry Steidl, Chairman