The Fillmore County Planning Commission met on March 23 to consider an application submitted by Andrew Miller Jr. to rezone his property northeast of the city of Spring Valley from A (Agricultural) to I-1 (General Industrial) for the purpose of opening a lumberyard.
The property in Spring Valley Township lies within one-half mile of the city limits of Spring Valley, making the rezoning permissible. Miller explained he and his partner bought out a lumberyard in Cresco, Iowa, and are planning to open a lumberyard on this property. CSAH 1 and 240th St. border the property.
Zoning Administrator Cristal Adkins noted Miller had originally applied for a permit for a rural home-based business, which would limit the number of employees allowed. A lumberyard is a permitted use in the General Industrial District (608.2).
After some discussion it was decided that the location of the house yard and septic/mound system on the property made it impractical to create an access directly onto CSAH 1. The planned access onto 240th St. is about 300 feet from CSAH 1.
Spring Valley Township chairman Greg Douglas said his only concern is the maintenance of that portion of 240th St. which will need to be maintained for heavy loads. Township supervisor Dennis Howard commented that he had discussed the maintenance of the road with Miller and Miller had agreed to take care of any road damage.
A shed is in the progress of being built, which has been permitted. The portion of the property which Miller has asked to be rezoned is three or more acres. Duane Bakke asked that the area to be rezoned be better defined.
During the public hearing some residents asked questions or expressed concerns. Neighbor Steve Knode requested a tree buffer be built between their properties, which is in the ordinance under Performance Standards. Knode said he had communicated with Miller about this and felt that is what he wanted also.
Matt Kolling, Spring Valley lumberyard owner, listed standards he felt should be required for an industrial business. He asked if a generator will be running all the time? Will it affect values of nearby properties?
County attorney Brett Corson said the rezoning should be contingent on the survey of the area to be rezoned. He added it is up to the township to enter into a written agreement on maintenance of the road. Miller agreed to have a survey done.
Miller said there will be running water to the shed and a sink to wash up, but no bathroom. Porta Potties will be available. Adkins said Miller will need to get a permit to install a holding tank.
Bakke noted they will have to comply with performance standards in the ordinance for industrial property.
Nearby neighbor Curtis Moeller said there already is heavy truck traffic on 240th St. He is a retired dairy farmer and currently provides transportation for the Amish community, adding “you won’t find a better class of people.”
Someone mentioned that debris could be blowing around. Mitch Lentz, resident of Spring Valley Township and district 1 commissioner, asked who is going to manage enforcement of the ordinance, monitor it?
Miller insisted there should be no trash blowing around. Most inventory will be inside the building. Adkins said there are eight performance standards for industrial properties and so far, they are in compliance with all of them. She added when she receives the survey, she can give final approval on the survey.
A motion to rezone a portion of the Miller property to General Industrial was unanimously approved, contingent on a survey approved by Adkins.
The county board will consider the rezoning recommendation at a later date when the survey has been completed and written agreements are in hand.