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Once again, no public consensus on zoning issues


Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

It was another long evening at the Fillmore County Planning Commission meeting last Wednesday as the commission tackled a long agenda of public hearings that covered a wide range of issues from a bluff ordinance variance to dwelling densities in the agriculture district. Bluff variance deniedThe evening began with Lynn and Roxie Tienter requesting a variance from the Board of Adjustment (a legal sub-group of the planning commission) to construct a new home within 40 feet of a bluff on a 10-acre parcel adjacent to Forestville State Park. The bluff ordinance requires an 80-foot setback from the top of a bluff, but because the site already has an existing cabin at the edge of the bluff, and because building the proposed home further from the bluff would place the structure on prime ag soils, the Tienters were requesting the variance. During the public hearing on the variance, Forestville State Park manager Mark White requested the variance be denied, citing the need to preserve the scenic integrity of the park. David Foster of Spring Valley also commented in support of the park’s position, noting that there was no hardship in this case because the bluff ordinance did not restrict the Tienters from building at a different location on their parcel. Minnesota state law requires that a variance can only be granted when an ordinance has created a hardship. The Tienters, in response to the concerns, stated that they would remove the existing cabin, would not have a yard security light, and would paint the new home in colors of green and brown to make it less conspicuous. After a discussion, the Board of Adjustment voted to deny the variance because the Tienters have room on the lot to build at the required setback of 80-feet. The soils class rating appeared to not be an issue because the parcel is considered an existing building site. Building on prime Ag soilsThe planning commission revisited the building restriction on soils with a crop equivalency rating (CER) of 66 or greater as it tweaked the language in an amendment that Commissioner Duane Bakke had proposed at an earlier meeting.The amendment as proposed by Mr. Bakke would allow any landowner who owns 80 or more contiguous acres to place a dwelling on the land with a CER of 66 or greater provided that it meets all other requirements of the zoning ordinance. During the public .....
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Is Silk Stocking Avenue an appropriate home for a recycled school bus?

Fri, May 30th, 2003
Posted in Features

The May 27, 2003 meeting of the Rushford City Council began with a visit from Duane and Sonja Cook.

Prefacing her remarks with a tongue-in-cheek reference to the "upscale neighborhood which has just seen a 51% increase in real ..... 
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Farmers Market in Lanesboro open for business

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

"I’m very excited about buying food for my family from friends and neighbors," said Liz Dybing, volunteer Lanesboro Farmers Market manager. "I believe this market has the potential to strengthen our local economy and to serve as support for our commu ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council Report: Art center back on table maybe

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Ken Graner addressed the Lanesboro City Council on Monday and asked if they could reconsider their April 7 motion to return the $1 million bond by the state for the Lanesboro Art Center to the state. Graner urged the council to keep the money availab ..... 
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Preston City Council Report: Back to normal issues here

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Comparatively mundane business occupied the Preston City Council at it's regular Monday night meeting. Few citizens were in attendance as the controversial issues of the past several months were not being discussed.

Greg Johnson ..... 
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Agriculture Department launches 2003 Gypsy Moth trapping program

Fri, May 23rd, 2003
Posted in Features

Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) Commissioner Gene Hugoson today announced that the department will soon begin its summer trapping program to monitor the state for evidence of start-up populations of gypsy moth, a destructive tree pest gradu ..... 
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No one satisfied with special assessment decision in Preston

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Features

Ron Laughlin stood on the sidewalk in front of his home on Spring Street in Preston on Monday evening looking northward toward Highway 52.   “Now, tell me how a new curb and gutter and sidewalk are going to improve the value ..... 
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Spring Valley Care Center honors nursing staff

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Features

Sixteen years ago, a family situation spurred Spring Valley’s Dave Thouin into a career change that would eventually lead him to a position as a Charge Nurse at the Spring Valley Care Center (SVCC). Thouin’s son, Christopher, was born with a multi-ha ..... 
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MPCA: “This facility is not a significant health risk”

Fri, May 16th, 2003
Posted in Features

“This seems like a show,” Bonita Underbakke said near the end of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) public information meeting in Preston on Tuesday . “Does what these people say have anything to do with whether they will have a tire burni ..... 
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