Planning Commission Meeting-August 10, 2020

Crow Wing Township Planning Commission Meeting
August 10, 2020 6:00 PM

Commission Members Present: Brad Arnold (Chair), Dan Lee, Linda Schuety, Nate Keller (Planning and Zoning Administrator), Justin Burslie (Previous Planning & Zoning Administrator), Tucker Schuety (Township Supervisor) & Duane Ruona (Township clerk). Paul Stephany joined the meeting at 6:09 PM.

Brad called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM.

The Public Hearing for a Conditional Use permit for Parcels 56170539 and 56170540 was held. The Property Owner/Applicant is Gustafson Properties of Brainerd, LLC.

Background Information: The applicant is requesting a Conditional Use permit for two adjoining parcels. The parcels are located West of Highway 371, South of Arielle Drive and North of Sweet Road. Previously the applicant had applied for a rezone to facilitate the development. The rezone was denied in July by the Town Board. Subject properties are zoned Rural Residential 2.5. Rural residential 2.5 does allow for storage buildings (commercial) through a Conditional Use permit. The applicant is proposing to construct a mini-storage facility (commercial).

The proposed development consists of five buildings with a total of approximately 200 10'x20' individual storage units (with potential of additional "end" units). The proposed impervious surface coverage of the development is 25%, which is the maximum allowed in the "Rural Residential 2.5" land use classification. The site is proposed to be accessed via Sweet Road near the intersection of Sweet Road/Arielle Drive. The site will drain to the east to an infiltration basin. The site plan indicates the site will retain the 100 year/24 hour storm event although a stormwater management plan has not been submitted.

Mike Angland of Widseth presented information on the CUP application on behalf of the Applicant. The site plan was changed from the previous rezone request. The amount of impervious surface was reduced from 45% to 25%. There is a demand for storage units in the Brainerd area. A gated entrance and security system are included. All doors will face inward and lighting will be on those areas. There is a 70' to 200' buffer on the south side of the buildings. The stormwater retention pond is now on the east end of the property instead of the south side of the buildings.

Questions about the high water problem in the area was asked. After the TH 371 bypass was built the water in the ditches increased and will this development increase the stormwater levels. The required stormwater management plan would keep all stormwater on the property. A resident said the lights from the highway will shine into his windows if the trees are removed. More traffic will be generated and property values will be affected. Another resident said that he is familiar with other storage units and traffic is not a problem and low impact lighting will not create light pollution. Another use of the property could be worse than the storage units.

Comments from the Planning Commission included Tucker stating that the change from the original site plan is good. Increasing the buffer and moving the filtration basin is good. Linda asked Doug Kern about how property values could be affected. He thought that other uses could reduce property values but the storage units would not affect them. Linda said that by revising the layout the applicant is working with the neighbor's concerns. Dan said the new plan was better. Vehicles leaving the storage units would shine their lights at the property across the road. Is the 100 year stormwater plan enough? There is other property available in the area that could be used for the storage units. Paul said that blackout shades will stop light from coming in the windows and asked if the driveway could be straightened out. Because MNDOT controls the 4-lane road, the driveway probably could not be moved further north. Hours of operation would be hard to restrict. Most people would use the storage garages during daylight hours. There will be a sign at the entrance and one across from the TH 371 southbound exit. Brad received a comment in support of the development. The property owner has rights also. The tree height will remain the same to filter light from traffic. The building height will be 13' - 15'. The color of the building could be a condition. The CUP is revocable if there are problems. Class 5 gravel is proposed for the site.

Tucker made a motion to approve the Conditional Use permit request for Parcels 56170539 and 56170540 by Gustafson Properties of Brainerd, LLC. with the following CONDITIONS OF APPROVAL:

1. The subject properties shall be combined into one contiguous lot prior to any construction occurring on the subject site
2. A land use permit shall be applied for and approved prior to any construction occurring on-site and all standard Crow Wing Township Zoning regulations (setbacks, height, impervious surface, etc.) shall be met. At time of building permit all the conditions in this conditional use permit will be reviewed.
3. Access to the site shall be limited to the existing access located on Sweet Road. No new access points will be allowed.
4. Existing vegetation on-site shall remain as depicted in Exhibit A. Exhibit A shows an approximate minimal 50' buffer around the site. An initial and final inspection of the site shall be required, and staff shall determine if additional landscaping or screening will be needed at the time of inspection to meet Crow Wing Township screening requirements
5. All lighting on-site shall be motion activated and be full cut-off style lens and directed downward towards the pavement/ground.
6. Access into the site shall be through a secured gate and lock. The gate access shall be kept locked while not in use.
7. The storage facility buildings shall be surrounded by a security gate that is at least 6' tall in height to aid in security and prevent vandalism.
8. An engineered stormwater management plan for the subject property shall be submitted which retains the 100 year/24 hour storm event.
9. Exterior finish (color) shall resemble earth tones.

Motion was seconded by Brad. Tucker, Linda, and Brad voted to approve, Dan voted to not approve, and Paul abstained. Motion passed 3-1.

There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.

Linda made a motion to accept the minutes of the July 13, 2020 meeting as written. Dan seconded, motion passed 5-0.

Under New Business the township website was discussed. Nate said that Sourcewell has heard that works well for websites for local governments. The Town Board has asked Tucker to look into options for developing a new website for the township. He will check out also and bring the information to the next Town Board meeting.

Under Old Business the Comprehensive Plan review was discussed. Justin put up an updated Land Use Map with public lands shown. Justin suggested that Commercial Mixed Use could be a new classification to consider. This could be used along the TH 371/Business 371 corridor. A possible 200' buffer could be placed along the highway for this classification. After discussion Justin will put in current commercial, wetlands and Rural Residential 2.5 areas on the map for the next meeting.

The Chad Jillson violation was discussed. Doug will visit the property to see what needs to be done with items on adjoining property. Doug Kern and Paul Stephany conducted a visit of the Wade Tomberlin property. There are still some tires there but not the large quantity present during previous visits. The area along his fence has been cleaned up. Wade has presented proof of septic compliance. The property violation at 9204 Estate Circle was discussed. A letter was sent to the property owner and Nate drove by today and progress has been made in cleaning up the property.

The postponed Fletcher Trucking property visit was discussed. Tucker received a call about the berm not being in compliance with the CUP. The Planning Commission will visit the property at the next meeting.

The Planning Administrator's office hours was discussed. The Wednesday 1 pm- 3 pm office hours at the town hall were suspended due to COVID19. Justin and Nate are available to come down on Wednesdays by appointment. A notice will be put on the door to that effect.

The Planning and Zoning Administrator's report was reviewed. Nate said it has been a busy season and appears it will continue.

Town Board Correspondence was reviewed. The Right-of-Way Ordinance was discussed.

Justin brought up that public hearing notification for residents is in the ordinance. Nate said that other jurisdictions put up a sign on the affected property when public hearings are going to be held. Notices mailed in the future will have Crow Wing Township on the return address.

Dan made a motion to adjourn, Linda seconded, meeting adjourned at 8:30 PM.

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