Planning Commission Meeting-January 13, 2020

Crow Wing Township Planning Commission Meeting
January 13, 2020 6:00 PM

Commission Members Present: Brad Arnold (Chair), Dan Lee, Linda Schuety, Paul Stephany, Nate Keller (New Planning & Zoning Administrator), Justin Burslie (Previous Planning & Zoning Administrator), Doug Kern (Township Supervisor) and Duane Ruona (Township clerk).

Brad called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM and the pledge to the flag was recited.

The first item of business was to elect a Chair Person and Vice-chair Person for 2020. Linda nominated Brad Arnold for Chair and Dan seconded the motion. Dan nominated Linda for Vice-chair Person and Doug seconded the nomination. There were no other nominations and the motion passed 5-0.

There were no public hearings.

Brad added discussion of the financing of the comprehensive plan update to the agenda.

Open forum - nothing.

Doug made a motion to accept the minutes of the December 9, 2019 meeting as written. Seconded by Linda. Brad mentioned that Fletcher trucking did more than required by the CUP to take care of concerns raised by neighboring residents such as equipment replacement and moving the wood chips pile to block noise from his operation. Brad also stated that Nate's comments about the township looking at an order for orderly annexation be noted so that all parties are involved and have a say in the process. Motion passed 5-0.

Under New Business, recordkeeping was discussed. Justin said that Sourcewell currently has all the records for township permits and violations and they were no longer going to use the program to keep that information so a copy of all that information will be given to the township. Going forward all new permits will be forwarded to the township by Nate. Sourcewell will also have a copy but the township will be responsible for maintaining the data. Crow Wing County also gets copies of building permits from Sourcewell.

Group Care Home discussion. State statute states that a group home with 6 or fewer residents shall be considered a permitted single-family residential use of the property. Justin wanted the Planning Commission aware of the statute because there has been interest in building two such facilities on Boulder Court. Currently there are group homes on Boulder Court and Buffalo Creek Road that have been operating for a long period of time.

Under old business the Comprehensive Plan was discussed. Justin reviewed the changes that were made to Section III based on discussion at the last meeting. Section IV. Goals & Strategies was reviewed. Brad stated that there were many public meetings about the content of the current plan before it was adopted.

Goal 1 concerned new growth and development. Linda asked for clarification of cluster developments. Nate said that they were smaller lots concentrated in an area and then had larger areas of green space that could be used by the residents. A common septic system and well are shared by the residents in a cluster development. Justin will look at the current definition of a cluster development for discussion at the next meeting. Brad said that road planning should be part of the process so that connector roads can be part of the development instead of having a lot of cul-de-sacs. The lot size range in the current plan needs to be changed to between 2.5 acres and 20 acres to match the land use ordinance. Screening and buffering of new developments is necessary for commercial and light industrial areas. It was suggested to delete the reference to housing values in the mix of housing types available to residents. The reference to residents' support of the comprehensive plan should be moved to Goal 7.

Goal 2 concerned keeping the township a safe and peaceful place to live. Speeding on town roads has been a concern and the Sheriff has urged residents to call when speeding occurs. Consistent enforcement has been a problem in the past. Because of density requirements, lowering speed limits is not possible on most township roads. Residents should be encouraged to be aware of unusual activity in their neighborhoods and get to know their neighbors.

Goal 3 is about new subdivisions and developments. Goals need to reflect the current land use ordinance.

Goal 4 is to define and protect the township's environmental assets. The township should promote developments along existing county and township roads. The protection of rural areas needs to be continued. The current recycling program may change but the township needs to encourage recycling no matter where the location of dumpsters may be. We need to continue to discourage illegal burning of household waste. The public lands map will be updated. A county-wide sewer district no longer applies but SSTS information needs to be included in the plan.

Goal 5 discusses annexation. An orderly annexation agreement with the cities of Brainerd and Baxter should be pursued. Annexation should benefit all parties involved and not just one or two parties of those involved.

Goal 6 is about the township making financially sound decisions that do not lead to unplanned tax increases. The current strategies are still relevant and should not be changed.

Goal 7 states that the land use regulation should meet the goals of the Comprehensive Plan. The rest of the goals will be discussed at the next meeting.

Brad brought up that the Fletcher property concern about sawdust on the buildings and snow was caused after the process was shut down and during startup there was a problem with the feed process and some excess sawdust was blown out. It was only for a short time and has been fixed. The Planning Commission will do another inspection this year. There has been no new information about the Jillson property cleanup. Steve Engholm plans to take down the house in the spring. The rest of the property has been cleaned up. A letter from the township attorney has been sent to Wade Tomberlin about his property cleanup.

Justin reported that there were 23 land use permits issued this year. There were 7 new dwellings included in the permit fees amount of $10,250 and another 10 SSTS permits for $1,500. The average number of permits from 2007-2019 was 29. The Sourcewell Small Project Partnership grant will be utilized when the updated Comprehensive Plan is completed.

The Joint Resolution between Crow Wing Township and the City of Brainerd Designating an Area for Orderly Annexation from November 10, 2005 was reviewed. Brad will try to get more information on the document from the city of Brainerd.

Dan made a motion to adjourn, Linda seconded, meeting adjourned at 7:53 PM.

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