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County to reopen zoning density debate


Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At last Tuesdays meeting of the Fillmore County Planning Commission, Commissioner Duane Bakke unveiled a new zoning ordinance amendment that would allow individual townships to select from a menu of choices that would determine how many homes are built in the township.

Additionally, each township would be allowed to change their selection on an annual basis.

The proposal by Mr. Bakke comes in response to the increasing number of townships enacting moratoriums on building houses, and subsequently developing their own township zoning ordinances. Earlier this month, Sumner Township became the fourth township in the county to place a moratorium on building permits for new homes.

As presented at the planning meeting, Mr. Bakkes plan would allow each township to select one of three options from three different categories: the number of dwellings per quarter-quarter section, the type of soils the dwellings could be built upon, and where rural residential subdivisions could be located.

Calling the new amendment, "County and Township Cooperative Optional Zoning," the language in the proposal states that, "It is the intent of the Fillmore County Board of Commissioners to enact a Zoning Ordinance designed to reflect a cooperative attitude with its townships in the administration of this Ordinance to the extent State Statutes will allow."

In the form presented by Mr. Bakke at the meeting and approved for a public hearing by the planning commission, township boards could choose one, two or four dwellings per quarter-quarter section (40 acres). The current zoning ordinance as amended last June allows two dwellings per quarter-quarter section and one 12-lot subdivision per section.

The townships could also choose one of three options on the location of dwellings. First choice would be the current ordinance that allows dwellings to be built on existing building sites or on land classified for the past 10 years by the assessor as pasture, wasteland, or woodland, or has a crop equivalency rating (CER) of 65 or less. The second choice would be to limit dwellings to existing or expanded building sites only, and the third choice would allow dwellings on any soils classification.

To complete the "menu" selection under the Cooperative Optional Zoning plan, a township could select one of three choices for regulating the loc .....
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County Social Services see child protection caseload increase

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

"We would like to see a month where there is no hitting, no drug abuse, no sexual abuse, no emotional neglect, children being bathed when they smell, and children being properly fed," stated Wendy Ebner, Social Service Supervisor, as she recapped the ..... 
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Former Ostrander City Clerk sentenced to jail and home monitoring

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Saying that he wanted to send a message to others who hold a position of trust, that abuses of power will be dealt with harshly, Judge Robert Benson sentenced former Ostrander City Clerk Tonya Michelle Burns to 15 days in jail, 130 days electric home ..... 
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Lanesboro Council responds to citizen requests, adjusts budget

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

Art promotions, a raffle, a dance, and the brush dump were on the minds of citizens as they addressed the Lanesboro City Council April 21, 2003.

Holly McDonough, Executive Director of the Cornucopia Art Center, asked the counci ..... 
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City of Rushford Audit report presented

Fri, Apr 25th, 2003
Posted in Features

At a special meeting of the Rushford City Council on Monday, April 21, 2003, Tom Wente of Smith, Schafer and Associates presented the citys audit report to the council.

"Youve done a good job either budgeting or staying in th ..... 
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A Norwegian farm girl returns to her native Vietnam

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

A self-described Norwegian farm girl, Julie Knutson DeHart grew up in rural Lanesboro, the adopted daughter of Sharon and Robert Knutson.   At Lanesboro High School, the 1992 graduate played in the band, went out for volley ..... 
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Preston Planning & Zoning Commission recommends granting CUP to Heartland

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

It was a balmy summer-like evening, the Preston City Hall overflowing with interested residents, when the Preston Planning & Zoning Commission met to consider a conditional use permit application from Heartland Energy & Recycling, LLC.

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Council hears possible water solutions

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Water Utility System Analysis Report presented by Bill Chang of BDM was the focal point of the Rushford City Council meeting on Monday, April 14. Chang first detailed some recent improvements to the water system of the city such as the new well # ..... 
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The fourth times the charm

Fri, Apr 18th, 2003
Posted in Features

Signs of spring were popping up all over the barnyard recently at the Paul and Cindy Lorius farm seven miles south of Cherry Grove. It's peak lambing time and the Lorius' herd of Suffolk sheep is growing by leaps and bounds. In fact, one of the coupl ..... 
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