Ordinance agreement between county and township moves closer

This article submitted by Michael Jacobson on 8/2/00.

One-stop shopping for site permits and variances took a step forward last week when Paynesville Township approved enforcing an updated version of its zoning ordinance.

On Monday, July 24, the board of supervisors approved enforcing the updated version until a final agreement with the county is reached and the updated ordinance is formally adopted.

The township's goal is to make their ordinance as strict or stricter than the new county-wide zoning ordinance. When that is accomplished, the county will delegate enforcement to the township.

"Otherwise," explained board chairman Don Pietsch, "we'll be tied up with this dual permitting forever."

Residents then would work with the township to get a permit, which would be faxed to the county for their records.

The township intends to enforce all the county provisions except for flood plain, septic systems, and feedlots. Those permits will still be administered by the county.

Getting the township ordinance as strict as the county's involved a revision of the existing township ordinance. The township board approved up to $1,000 for a township attorney to make insertions and additions to the township ordinance.

"The ordinance got quite a bit larger because we had to cover everything that is in Stearns County's (ordinance)," said Pietsch.

The township supervisors will be meeting with county officials in the early part of August to review the ordinances and hammer out any differences.

Once an agreement is reached, formal adoption of the revised ordinance will require a public hearing.

Recognizing roads
Rustic Road The board recognized three township roads and committed the township to providing services to them.

Rustic road signs went up recently in the township.

The roads in question were Briarhill Road on the south side of the lake, Cushing Road on the north side, and the first 160' of road leading to the Linus Nistler residence.

Pietsch researched these roads at the county offices in St. Cloud. "I went to records," he explained. "They documented it. They told me those roads are ours. That's good enough for me."

One question about the recognition of the roads concerned the roads not being up to the township standards. Clerk Don Wiese also remembered that the township had at one time, at the urging of a former attorney, recognized roads unnecessarily.

Two property owners who live on Cushing Road were present and indicated their desire for township services, including snowplowing.

Other business
• The board approved splitting two lots in the township. Gary Olson will split his 7.06 acre lot on Co. Rd. 30 into a three and four acre lot. He intends to sell the three acre lot to a telecommunications company and keep the remaining portion. The board approved the plat to allow this.

After a public hearing, the board approved a variance request to split property owned by Jerome Johnson on the south side of the lake into two lots. Neither lot is two acres in size, as required by the township ordinance, so a variance was necessary. Both lots have 100 feet of shoreline and are 350 feet in depth, which is larger than an average lake lot.

• The board approved purchasing a new lawn mower for use around the township office and ice arena. The township agreed to purchase a John Deere F725 for $6,600 with the trade of their old mower. They also approved buying a snowblowing attachment for $1,350.

• After determining it to be the lower bid, the board accepted a bid from Paynesville Excavating to rebuild the ditches on Desmond and Dolphin roads, as well as extend a culvert.

• The board recessed the meeting to look over and plan a new storage area at the township office, and then to meet with residents who wish to discuss violations of the township zoning ordinance.

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