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Benson rules in zoning case


Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Judge Robert Benson has denied a request by Fillmore County for a summary judgement in a zoning dispute between the county and Eli Slabaugh of rural Canton Township.

Former Fillmore County Attorney Matt Opat filed the civil action in an effort to uphold an injunction that would prevent Slabaugh from using a home he built that the county claims is in violation of the Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance. Slabaugh’s property is situated on County Road #23 north of Canton.

At the center of the dispute is the site location for Slabaugh’s house, which is located 300 feet from the survey line of a rock quarry operated by Kruckow Rock Products and Ready Mix of Caledonia. Kruckow’s survey line and the property line of Slabaugh’s 10 acres meets at the center of the county road.

The Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance stipulates that dwellings need to be set back a minimum of 1000 feet from a quarry.

In October the court issued a temporary injunction preventing Slabaugh from continuing construction on his house. In early January, the court heard oral arguments from former Fillmore County Attorney Matt Opat and Attorney Dan Moulton, who represented Slabaugh.

At that time, Moulton told the court that Slabaugh bought his land for the building site after consulting Zoning Administra-tor Norm Craig and being assured that it was a suitable site. When Slabaugh went to get a building permit, he was told he needed a variance, which was later turned down by the Fillmore County Planning & Zoning Commission. Despite the ruling, Slabaugh proceeded with construction of his house.

Opat argued in court that regardless of what Slabaugh was told by Craig, when he went to get a building permit, he was told he couldn’t build unless he had a variance.

In his written memorandum, Benson stated that the Court found that there is a genuine issue of fact in the case.

“Defendant alleges the zoning administrator told him in advance that he would be permitted to build his house in its current location. The zoning administrator now denies granting Defendant permission to build in that zone. Defendant also argues that other persons were permitted to build within proscribed limits being argued by the County. Whether or not this has occurred is a material question of fact and goes to the issue of whether or not Defendant was d .....
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Commissioners’ Report: Social Services’ budget safe from state cuts for now

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

"I don’t see much that’s going to effect the county," Tom Boyd, Fillmore County Social Services Director, told the county board on Tuesday. Boyd was commenting on the state’s potential budget cuts and the impact they may have on his department. This ..... 
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The devil is in the details

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Kane & Johnson Architects, Inc. of Rochester, brought back more revisions to the courthouse remodeling project after several meetings were held with the architects, Judge Robert Benson, Court Administrator James Attwood, Sheriff Jim Connolly, and Com ..... 
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Rushford City Council Report: New site promoted for back-up generator building

Fri, Jan 31st, 2003
Posted in Features

Brian Guenther of Power Plus, an engineering firm, was present at the January 27th Rushford City Council meeting to explain the newly proposed back-up generator site. The building to house three back-up generators with space for a future fourth gener ..... 
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DNR looks at changing deer season

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

In the early 1950s, the sighting of whitetail deer in southeastern Minnesota was so uncommon that a local newspaper carried it as a front-page news item when a farmer in Carimona Township reported seeing a herd of 18 deer. The great migration of deer ..... 
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Harstad pleads guilty on Mandelko charges

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

Andrew Todd Harstad, 20, of rural Harmony, plead guilty in Fillmore County District Court on Tuesday to one count of felony Criminal Vehicular Homicide stemming from an incident on May 26, 2000 which resulted in the death of Justin Delbert Mandelko o ..... 
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Rural Peacemakers to meet in Rushford February 1

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

About a dozen peace advocates, opposed to war with Iraq, marched in Preston on Saturday, January 18, in solidarity with anti-war demonstrations in Washington, D.C. and other major cities in the United States and throughout the world. The group known ..... 
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Planning & Zoning ready to tackle new issues in 2003

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

The Fillmore County Planning & Zoning Commission held their first meeting of the new year on Thursday, January 23. About 30 people braved the cold temperatures to listen to commission members talk about zoning issues that the group will likely addres ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council: Short meeting as promised

Fri, Jan 24th, 2003
Posted in Features

Mayor Steven Rahn had vowed to keep short the second meeting of each month and he certainly delivered on that promise at the Lanesboro City Council meeting Tuesday night. In less than an hour Rahn and the council dispensed with the business before th ..... 
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