March 26, 2018 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of March 26, 2018

A regular meeting/public hearing(s) of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 26th day of March, 2018 at the Alexandria Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway.

Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Jarrod Oberg and Julie Haar. 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 6:00 p.m.

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

Minutes: Steinbrecher, seconded by Haar, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 2/26/2018 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the Preliminary Plat of Lakecrest Townhomes, 1st Addition, submitted by Robert Bugher, owner.

Public Hearing: Mr. Bugher stated his intention to purchase four adjacent lots along the west side of Lakecrest Road NE and to develop them into five detached single family units. Eric Nyberg, of Nyberg Surveying, said Mr. Bugher was awarded a variance from the township for 1) a PUD allowing for a parcel smaller than 2.5 acres (current parcel size is 1.64 acres); and 2) allowing for a PUD with open space less than 50% (proposed 29% open space). The homes will be similar to Mr. Bugher’s development across the road (Lakecrest Townhomes).

Zoning Administrator Oleson reiterated that the town had approved the variance regarding lot size and open space. The original platting of the property was for four single-family units. The town had received many comments at the variance hearing in support of the project as well as subsequent phone calls. Three letters were also received, two in support and one in opposition. Oleson noted that all setback requirements for the proposed PUD have been met due to the variance.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment.

Dale Tvrdik, 3011 Lakecrest Road NE, stated that he feels the project is an ideal fit for the neighborhood.

Mrs. Darrell Kluck, 2995 Lakecrest Road NE, said she and her husband had moved to the area last summer and love the city and the neighborhood. They are happy with the construction of their townhome. She said that to keep up the value of your property, you want your neighborhood to blend in. They are 100% behind the approval of the variance so the project can take place. Mr. Kluck had also written a letter in support of the project.

Jay Paulson, Highpoint Homes, P.O. Box 847, Alexandria, stated he is an owner of one of the existing four lots that would be sold to Mr. Bugher and owns two additional lots in the area. As a builder and realtor, he views the proposed project as a positive move for the neighborhood.

Bruce McKirdy, 3141 Lakecrest Road NE, stated he loves what Mr. Bugher has brought to the neighborhood and wants to see the empty lots developed. He is in favor of more neighbors! He currently sits on the Chamber of Commerce and the Economic Development Commission boards and says a common topic of conversation is the need for more housing in the Alexandria area. He is 100% behind this effort.

Milton Rea, 2959 Lakecrest Road NE, owns the single family unit across the road and says that he feels the new development would be a nice fit for the neighborhood. He is also one of the people who had written a letter to the town supporting the project.

Greg Eigen, 2902 Crestwood Drive, stated that the area is a great place to live, the proposed development would be a great fit, and that he feels Mr. Bugher constructs quality homes.

Hearing no further comments from the public, Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and reconvened the regular meeting.

Steidl asked if the proposed homes would be the same footage as those across the street. He also asked if there would be separate wells and driveways. The applicant responded yes.

Commissioner Steinbrecher asked if the retention pond would be capable of handling run-off from an extra home (5 homes vs. the originally platted 4). Oleson indicated that a stormwater plan had been submitted previously with the original four lots and that the township engineer was not overly concerned about the added run-off. In fact, the engineer felt that due to the size of the homes, the run-off may be equivalent or even less than if the lots were developed as previously platted. Engineer Kuhn also did not think there would be enough additional impervious to require another stormwater pond. Mr. Nyberg stated that the five lots would equal 23.08% impervious, which is less than the maximum allowance of 25% with the original four lots.

Steinbrecher asked if Lot 1 drains to the retention pond. The applicant responded affirmatively.

Oleson stated that the letter in opposition to the development referenced their preference that the lots be left as originally platted; i.e. for four single-family homes.

Mr. Nyberg made the observation that since the PUD will have an association and covenants, it may be better maintained, as opposed to four individual single-family homes.

Commissioner Oberg asked what the spacing would be relative to the homes across the road. Mr. Nyberg stated that there will be 26.8 feet between the buildings, actually more than those across the road.

Commissioner Haar expressed her concerns that the approved variance(s) have allowed the proposed development to not adhere, or to go outside of, the township ordinance requirements.

Mr. Bugher reflected that the purpose for variances is to promote the right “fix”, which he believes applies to the proposed development.

Steinbrecher, seconded by Oberg, made a motion to recommend approval of the Preliminary Plat for Lakecrest Townhomes, First Addition as presented with no conditions. Roll: Oberg – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Haar – no, Steidl – yes. Motion carried.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat for a one-lot commercial subdivision submitted by Evan Amundson, d/b/a Carr’s Tree Service. The property is located along Geneva Road NE and is owned by David Nelson.

Mr. Amundson said he had submitted a certificate of survey with his plat application. Due to the expense involved in having a preliminary, and subsequent final, plat drawn up and, since the survey and purchase agreement have already been completed, he was wondering what other options he might have. He also stated that he just found out a problem with the survey has arisen. It depicts the 5 acre parcel as encompassing the entire road. This problem has not yet been resolved. He asked if it were possible to get a variance to the plat process.

Oleson said there are three categories of subdivision splits: metes and bounds, minor subdivisions and major subdivisions. Since Mr. Amundson’s application does not meet the criteria for either the metes and bounds subdivision or a minor subdivision, he had to apply for a major subdivision, which requires the preliminary and final plat process. He said the county has taken requests for variances which essentially have an applicant asking to NOT go through the platting process. He noted that the township has never had this type of application. He said one reason for requiring a plat is the need for roads and utilities, which this particular subdivision does not require. Other reasons are to ensure legal descriptions are clear, etc.

Oberg asked how the survey is incorrect. Mr. Amundson stated that the survey encompasses the entire road vs. to the middle of the road. Oberg clarified that in order to rectify the survey, the property lines would need to be moved back (to the east) from the road and thus expanded into Mr. Nelson’s property. Mr. Amundson said that somehow either he, or Mr. Nelson, will be short acreage. Oleson said that even with the shift in property lines, Mr. Amundson would still meet the requirement for lot size.

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

Oberg, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the 1-lot commercial subdivision submitted by Evan Amundson with two conditions: 1) that the applicant submit a preliminary plat meeting the requirements of the ordinance; and 2) that the plat must meet the stormwater requirements of the township. Roll: Oberg – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Haar – yes, Steidl – yes. Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat for 7th Addition to Lake Geneva Estates. The property is located along Geneva Golf Club Drive NE and Liberty Road and is owned by Al Beisner.

Mr. Beisner stated that he is proposing to build five detached single family residential units.   The lots will be located over Outlot B, which is 4.13 acres north of Geneva Golf Club Drive NE and beginning approximately 125 feet west of the intersection with Liberty Road NE.

Eric Nyberg stated that the existing retention pond was designed to handle these lots. All the drainage plans were submitted with a prior plat that was approved.

Steidl asked if there would be private wells or if it would be a community well. Mr. Beisner responded they would be private. He also stated that the sewer, road and all utilities are in place.

Oleson said that the proposed subdivision meets minimum lot size. The township engineer had expressed no concerns.

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

Steinbrecher asked who maintains the retention pond. Oleson said that at present, it is maintained by Mr. Beisner. Steinbrecher asked who is actually cleaning the pond. Mr. Beisner stated that it has never been cleaned. Steinbrecher asked when the pond was installed. Mr. Beisner surmised around 2010. The pond was designed for a 200-year flood.

Haar, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat for 7th Addition to Lake Geneva Estates as presented, noting that it meets all stormwater requirements, with no other conditions. Roll: Haar – yes, Steinbrecher – yes, Oberg – yes, Steidl – yes. Motion carried unanimously.

Zoning Administrator’s Report: In light of the county’s recent passage of ordinances for vacation rentals and accessory buildings, the commission recommends that the zoning subcommittee meet to review and report back to the town. Volunteers for this committee from the planning commission are Steidl and Steinbrecher, with Haar as an alternate. 

New Business: none

Old Business: The site visit schedule will be fluid, dependent upon the number of applications.

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

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2018


Larry Steidl, Chairman