At the December 20 meeting of the Planning Commission, the public had an opportunity to comment on the proposed amendment to the Fillmore County subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) ordinance. The proposed amended language in Sale or Transfer of Real Estate, Section 803, will make it less likely that any transfers of real estate will fall through the cracks without a SSTS compliance inspection.
A compliance inspection must be completed by a state of Minnesota certified inspector before real estate is transferred or sold. New language includes the requirement for pre-treatment systems to be inspected by an intermediate inspector.
Systems found to be compliant will need no further action. Non-compliant systems or failing systems, must be brought up to code within 12 months (imminent health threats within 10 months).
An escrow account must be established to pay for bringing a system up to code prior to property transfer.
Real estate being sold via a contract for deed requires a compliance inspection either at the beginning of the contract or at the end before the sale or transfer is completed (not both). This provision is intended to catch those contracts that were initiated prior to this ordinance amendment being enacted. If there has been a compliance inspection at the initiation of the contract, another will not be required at the end of the contract and transfer of title.
Inspections are not required on the sale or transfer of real estate that does not have a dwelling or structure with a SSTS or when the dwelling or structure is connected to a city sewer system. Inspections will not be required on a SSTS system which is properly abandoned. If not properly abandoned prior to transfer, an escrow account must be established for the abandonment.
New inspections will not be required on properties with a Certificate of Compliance on an existing SSTS which is less than three years old or when there is a Certificate of Compliance for a new SSTS which is less than five years old.
There was no comment from the public. A motion to send the proposed amendment to the county board for their consideration was approved unanimously.
Board of Adjustment
Public hearings were held for three variance requests.
• Geoff and Monica Griffin, Section 34N, Carrolton Township, requested two variances on their property. Both were variances to the front yard setback requirement of 73 feet (604.05.2a) from the road. Griffin explained they would like to add a 14-foot by 14-foot covered deck to the side of their house with a 14-foot by 12-foot uncovered deck behind it. The decks’ nearest point to the township road (Hobbit Ln.) would be 40 feet, which is 14 feet further from the road than the existing house. He noted that the ground falls off significantly beyond the proposed location of the uncovered deck, creating an extreme hardship.
Griffin also wants to replace an existing 22-foot-wide by 36-foot-deep garage with a new 30-foot by 104-foot garage. The new garage would be 43 feet from the center of the township road, which is 10 feet further from the road than the existing garage. Again, the ground drops off significantly beyond the proposed location for the new garage.
The variances were approved.
• Tanya Wolfs requested a variance to allow construction of a home on land with a crop equivalency rating of more than 65 (604.05.9) on property located in Section 25, Carrolton Township. Wolfs plans to relocate with her children to the family farm owned by her father, John Overland. The proposed building site is currently in CRP. The dwelling is to be built on one acre which will be taken out of CRP. There is an existing field drive which will become the future driveway onto 341st Ave.
Zoning administrator Cristal Adkins explained that a primary and secondary site for the septic system is required. There are no structures, well, or sewer system on the site at this time. Overland reported that the septic system can run onto the CRP. The lot will be 2.5 acres with 1.5 acres remaining in CRP.
The variance was approved.