October 24, 2022 minutes


Alexandria, Minnesota 56308

Minutes of the meeting of October 24, 2022 

A regular meeting/public hearing of the Planning Commission of Alexandria Township was held on the 24th day of October, 2022 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 09/26/2022 meeting as written.  Motion carried unanimously.

Chairman Steidl recessed the meeting to open the public hearing on the conditional use request submitted by John and Marge Spinner / Broken Arrow Resort Cooperative, property located at 3408 Co Rd 82 SE.

Public Hearing:  Zoning Administrator Oleson reported the Broken Arrow Resort Cooperative was formed in 2010 – 2011 after the resort was converted to a cooperative.  In 2011 the Township granted a CUP for the conversion from a resort to a cooperative. The CUP approval required that all cabins and RV sites remain seasonal use only except for the Spinners year-round home.  He stated the township’s ordinance could have allowed for year-round use for some or all of the sites, but it would require the removal of one unit for every three units the site is over-density.  Around three years ago the cooperative chose to allow for year-round use of the cabins, and at least three of those cabins have been utilized in that capacity.  Oleson notified the cooperative that this was a violation of the 2011 CUP. The applicants have decided to ask for approval to make at least those three cabins available for year-round use and are willing to remove RV sites as needed.  To date, the cabins have all been sold to private parties as well as seven of the RV sites.  The Spinners also have their home onsite.  The cooperative is 15 units over-density, which requires the removal of five units.  The Spinners have indicated their willingness to remove five of the RV sites.

Oleson explained the cooperative is split into Tiers I, II, and III.  Each tier is restricted to a 25% impervious limit (for a residential conversion as opposed to 35% for commercial).  Tier I is 200 ft from the lake; Tier II the next 200 ft; and Tier III the final 200 ft from the lake.  These calculations are from 2011 when the CUP was granted.  The property is out of compliance with regard to some of today’s DNR / shoreland limitations; specifically, density allowances, impervious coverage, open space and centralization of shoreline recreational facilities.  Comments from DNR are as follows:  1) they’d like to see stricter standards applied to the resort conversion beyond what is recommended in the staff report; 2) are the units privately owned – if so, then the cooperative would appear to meet the definition of a residential PUD; 3) mooring of watercraft needs to be compact, centralized and limited to no more than one slip per allowable first tier unit; and 4) that the township require the removal of all extraneous structures, landscaping and recreational facilities to promote compliance towards the 25% impervious surface coverage limit.

Chairman Steidl opened the hearing to the public for comment.

Alison Myhra, Vice- President of the cooperative, Cabin #5, and Gary Cizadlo, President, Cabin #8, expressed their desire to have the CUP approved.  Ms. Myhra said when she bought her unit, she realized it was seasonal use only and asked at that time if it could be changed to year-round use.  This became the catalyst for the current request.  She explained there were seven docks.  Each cabin was allotted access to ½ dock and the RV sites shared two docks.

Commissioner Haar asked if the property, as a whole, could be considered for impervious surface coverage or if it needed to be broken down into individual tiers.  Oleson responded it could be transferred backwards, from Tier I to Tier II, for example, but not the reverse.  Reductions will need to be made in Tiers I and II.

Commissioner Dokken-McFann inquired if there were other items on the site that could be removed to get the impervious calculations closer to the allowable limit.

Commissioner Fettig asked if there was a sidewalk that could be removed.

Oleson stated removal of concrete to gravel would still constitute impervious surface.

Commissioner Steinbrecher confirmed that the only resolution would be to replace those impervious surface items with black dirt and seed.

Dokken-McFann asked if our ordinance has a category for PUD residential / seasonal.

Oleson will meet with the cooperative owners before the next meeting.

Chairman Steidl closed the public hearing and resumed the meeting.

Dokken-McFann, seconded by Haar, made a motion to table the request for more information.

New Business:  none

Old Business:  Oleson provided draft ordinance amendments for discussion regarding shouses, cargo containers, DRT meetings, and lot widths.

Consensus to not hold another public hearing on these subjects but rather to have Oleson prepare another draft for review at the next meeting.

Zoning Administrator’s Report:  Oleson provided a log of permit activity.

Adjournment:  Being no further business Haar, seconded by Dokken-McFann, made a motion to adjourn the meeting.  Meeting adjourned at 7:15 p.m.

Respectfully submitted…


Bonnie Fulghum, Deputy Clerk

Approved this ____ day of ___________, 2022


Larry Steidl, Chairman