Alexandria, Minnesota 56308
Minutes of the meeting of March 27, 2023
A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 27th day of March, 2023 at the Township Conference Room, 324 Broadway, and via teleconference.
Roll Call: Commission members present were Shad Steinbrecher, Larry Steidl, Linda Dokken-McFann, Jessica Fettig 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 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 Haar, made a motion to approve the minutes of the 02/27/2023 meeting as written. Motion carried unanimously.
Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the preliminary plat and conditional use request for East Gate First Addition, a non-residential planned unit development for individual sale of storage buildings. The request was submitted by Joel and Denise Runge, d/b/a Pak Rat Mini Storage, LLC. The property is located surrounds 6910 County Road 82 SE on three sides.
Public Hearing: Denise Runge, representing Pak Rat Mini Storage, stated the property located at 6910 County Road SE currently has a building with individually-owned storage units. The applicants are looking to expand on the adjacent parcel and construct another 28 individually-owned storage units ranging in size and height, from 20’ x 20’ to 28’ x 56’. She said the existing association has indicated their interest in becoming incorporated with them. The Runges’ plan includes building another roadway and water retention ponds. Wetlands exist on the property.
Zoning Administrator Oleson reported that per the township ordinance, this request requires a conditional use permit and, as it is platted out into individual lots, a preliminary plat is also required. Currently, there are 28 stand-alone storage units on individual lots. A private road would be built with a shared access off County Road 82 SE. He noted that on the first page of his staff report, he had used a rough estimate for the proposed impervious coverage. Using the survey numbers, it actually equates to 79,049 square feet (30.2% impervious). No running water or sewer is anticipated for these lots. No sewer line is nearby; thus, if a request for sewer is made in the future, a private sewer would need to be discussed.
Oleson commented that a question had been raised about plowing snow into the wetland areas. Jerry Haggenmiller of the Douglas County Soil & Water Conservation District expressed no concern regarding stormwater runoff, even with gravel potentially being mixed in with the snow melt. The roads will all be gravel. Since they will be private, there is no township requirement.
Another question concerned the ability of emergency services to access the new development. Oleson stated he had reached out to the fire department and was waiting on a response. The sheriff’s office said the major issue from their standpoint concerned theft. They said visibility from the road was key to prevention. When asked if a privacy fence would be built around the property, Ms. Runge said that was not in their plan.
Commissioners Dokken-Fann and Haar inquired about lighting. Ms. Runge stated each building would have lighting that would come on at dusk and remain until daylight.
Chairman Steidl asked if the applicants would be taking care of the roads, waterways and ponds. The applicants responded yes.
Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment. Hearing none, he closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.
Dokken-McFann asked who has jurisdiction over the driveway access and if a second access would be built. Oleson responded Douglas County has jurisdiction. He said the county normally limits the number of accesses off their roads. Dokken-McFann also asked Tom Klemmenhagen of Landteam if there would be tiling to facilitate drainage. He said pipe is under the road. There is a catch basin to drain water into the pond as well as a controlled mechanism for releasing the water into the wetland. There are two pipes coming out of the wetland to transfer drainage. He mentioned drainage to the north and east, eventually emptying into Lake Osakis. Mr. Klemmenhagen also noted permits will need to be obtained from both the township and the Sauk River Watershed District.
Dokken-McFann expressed concern regarding the dead end. Oleson responded the sheriff’s department had no comment with regard to safety concerns. Ms. Runge conceded lighting may not be ideal for the lots further to the south when viewed from the road. Mr. Klemmenhagen responded that a hammerhead is proposed at the dead end.
Dokken-McFann asked if the sewer line extends past this property in the future, would they be assessed since there would be no running water or septic on the premises.
Mr. Klemmenhagen asked if someone would be required to hook up to sanitary sewer once it becomes available. Oleson responded it would be more of a question for the sanitary sewer district and their ordinance.
Haar, seconded by Steinbrecher, made a motion to recommend approval of the preliminary plat and CUP request for East Gate First Addition with the three conditions from the staff report, amending the first condition to read “All internal drives and stormwater improvements shall be considered private.” Leaving conditions 2 and 3 intact. Adding condition 4 to read “The stormwater plan shall be approved by the township engineer and the Sauk River Watershed District before construction begins.” Adding condition 5 to read “The applicant shall have obtained their SWPP from the state before construction begins.” Adding condition 6 to read “No running water shall be allowed on the property without proper sewage treatment and required permits.” Roll: Haar, Steinbrecher, Dokken-McFann, Fettig, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
New Business: The commission reviewed verbiage as it applies to easements.
Old Business: Oleson reported as a follow up to the public hearing, Vikingland Builders and the City of Alexandria both sent out emails to their contractor listings regarding the township’s zoning/subdivision amendments. He stated no written comments had been received regarding the proposed changes to the zoning / subdivision ordinances.
Dokken-McFann, seconded by Haar, made a motion to forward to the town board the proposed changes to the zoning and subdivision ordinances as presented. Roll: Haar, Steinbrecher, Dokken-McFann, Fettig, Steidl – yes. Opposed: none. Motion carried unanimously.
Zoning Administrator’s Report: none
Adjournment: Being no further business Steinbrecher, seconded by Haar, made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Meeting adjourned at 6:44 p.m.
Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk
Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2023
Larry Steidl, Chairman