Crow Wing Township Planning Commission Meeting
July 13, 2020 6:00 PM
Commission Members Present: Brad Arnold (Chair), Dan Lee, Linda Schuety, Paul Stephany, Nate Keller (Planning and Zoning
Administrator), Justin Burslie (Previous Planning & Zoning Administrator) & Duane Ruona (Township clerk).
Doug Kern (Township Supervisor) was absent.
Brad called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
The Agenda was changed because the public hearing was advertised to begin at 6:00 PM at the same time as the Fletcher
Trucking site visit. Justin went to the Fletcher site in case anyone showed up there for the site visit. Justin returned
to the town hall at 6:26 PM.
The Public Hearing to Rezone Parcels 56170539 and 56170540 was held. The Property Owner/Applicant is Gustafson Properties
of Brainerd, LLC.
Background Information: The applicant is requesting a rezone for two adjoining parcels. The parcels are located West of
Highway 371, South of Arielle Drive and North of Sweet Rd. A map of the property with the proposed development was included.
The proposed rezone is to convert the existing zoning of Rural Residential 2.5 to C-1 Commercial. The future land use map
indicates "Rural Preservation" for these two lots. Rural Preservation according to the current Comprehensive Plan
is "a designation for sustainable management of secluded, rural areas. This classification provides low density, rural
residential development and agricultural areas with a suggested minimum lot size of 10 acres."
The rezone as proposed would not match the future land use in the Comprehensive plan indicated to be "Rural Preservation".
Mike Angland of Widseth presented information on the rezoning application on behalf of the Applicant. The property is
currently covered in trees and shrubs and serves as a buffer to the TH 371/Business 371 intersection. Seven storage garages
are proposed to be built on the two parcels with a 50 foot buffer of existing trees and shrubs to be left undisturbed. The
entrance would be gated and as close to Arielle Drive as possible to reduce traffic down Sweet Road. Lighting on the property
would be directed downward so as not to bother nearby properties. Mr. Angland stated that this would be the least intrusive
development of the property. Under the current zoning, duplexes, a church, barn, or other buildings could be built on the
site and all the trees could be removed. A nearby resident said that the lights from the TH 371/Business 371 intersection
would shine into his house and the storage units should be somewhere already zoned C-1. A question was asked about how resale
values would be affected. The current trees on the property are mostly hardwoods and lose their leaves so the screening would
be much less in the winter. Another resident asked if the current storage units on the southeast side of TH 371 were full.
Questions were raised about more traffic and crime coming into the neighborhood because of the storage units. The exits from
TH 371 are state roads so any changes required because of increased traffic would have to be done by MNDOT. How have other
storage units in the area affected the neighboring residents was asked.
The Rezone notice wasn't sent to many of the residents in attendance. The requirement is to notify property owners within
500 feet of the subject property. Brad stated that the current Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map are being updated.
The current Future Land Use Map shows the area as Rural Preservation which has 10 acre parcels. Currently there are numerous
commercial properties on TH 371. The precedence has been set for commercial property and the property owner has rights also.
Lighting on the property is to be controlled so it doesn't shine outside the property. Brad stated that he knows there have
been many storage units built in the area and there is usually a waiting list for them. Nate added that the rezone changes
the property for the future use of the property. Dan asked about the water table in the area because of water in the ditches
and what the storm water runoff would be. Linda was out at the neighboring property and there is noise currently and removing
the trees could make it worse. The property could be something other than storage buildings in the future. Mike said that
if the rezone request is denied they could come back to the Planning Commission and ask for the development to proceed with
a Conditional Use Permit without rezoning the property. The residents in attendance asked to be notified if it came back
to the Planning Commission for a CUP.
Dan made a motion to recommend the Town Board deny the rezone request for Parcels 56170539 and 56170540 from Rural Residential
2.5 to C-1 Commercial because of current and future land use descriptions, the property is not adjacent to other commercial
property, and there is not direct access to TH 371. Linda seconded, motion passed 5-0.
There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.
Dan made a motion to accept the minutes of the June 8, 2020 meeting as written. Paul seconded, motion passed 5-0.
Under New Business the property violation at 9204 Estate Circle was discussed. A letter was sent to the property owner
and Justin said that progress has been made in cleaning up the property.
Under Old Business the Comprehensive Plan review was discussed. Justin put up a Land Use Map with five sections on it
for discussion. Section 1 is the NE part of the township just south of Brainerd except the Business 371 corridor; Section
2 is the rest of the south part of the township SE of the TH 371 corridor; Section 3 is the TH 371 Corridor; Section 4 is
the NW corner of the township and Section 5 is the Business 371 corridor.
The planning commission reviewed each area to assign one of five potential future land use classifications:
1) High density residential (1 ac lot size and less)
2) Medium density residential (2.5-10 ac lot size)
3) Low density residential (10 ac lot size and greater)
4) Agricultural/Forestry/Open Space (35 ac lot size and greater)
5) Commercial (2 ac lot size and greater)
Brad stated that Section 1 is a transitional area between Brainerd and the rural area of the township with a number of
developments. Barrows and Estate Circle also have a lot of development. Barrows and Estate Circle should be 1) High density
residential. Section 2 could be 4) Agricultural/Forestry/Open Space except for the CSAH 21 and CSAH 45 corridors. Section
4 has a large amount of State land. The amount of State-owned and public land will be identified on the map for the next
meeting. There is a lot of low land in Section 2 that cannot be developed. The TH 371/Business 371 corridors could be commercial.
The map will be updated and discussed further at the next meeting.
The Fletcher Trucking property visit was discussed. Justin said that no residents were there for the inspection. Shawn
Fletcher has some trees to replace and is currently operating the wood chip dryer three days a week. The Planning Commission
will visit the property at the next meeting.
The Chad Jillson violation was discussed. The Probation Officer handling the case needs to be reminded about cleaning
up his property as listed as a term of his probation. Wade Tomberlin was not at the meeting and a property visit should be
done. Doug Kern and Paul Stephany conducted the last visit and should go back to see what changes have been made before the
next meeting. Two letters were sent to the Ravenswood property about their violation about too many vehicles on the property.
Nate visited the property today and only two vehicles are left.
The Planning and Zoning Administrator's report was reviewed. Nate said it has been a very busy season and appears it
will continue. Brad said that several years ago the notification perimeter for P&Z issues was expanded and he asked Nate
and Justin what we would need to do to further increase the perimeter.
There was no Town Board Correspondence.
Linda made a motion to adjourn, Paul seconded, meeting adjourned at 8:27 PM.