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Judge Benson tells county he will not reconsider on Slabaugh zoning case


Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

In a letter to Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson dated May 7, Judge Robert Benson has denied a Fillmore County request to file a Motion for Reconsideration in the Slabaugh Zoning case. The countys only other legal option would be to appeal the judges decision to the Minnesota Court of Appeals.

On April 15, Judge Benson dismissed a restraining order brought by the county to prevent Eli and Mattie Slabaugh from continuing construction on a house they were building in Canton Township because the dwelling was within the setback restrictions of a rock quarry. Benson ruled that the Slabaughs had been treated unfairly because the Fillmore County Zoning Ordinance had been applied unequally when the county had allowed other dwellings, including hunting cabins, to exist within the setback.

After the judges decision, Fillmore County Attorney Brett Corson sent a letter to Judge Benson asking him to allow a Motion for Reconsideration. In the letter, Corson stated that the judge had erred in his understanding of the Fillmore County Ordinance. In particular, the judge misinterpreted the terms dwelling and dwelling unit. Corson wrote that a dwelling unit cannot include a hunting cabin since a dwelling unit is intended for occupancy by a single family.

In his six page response to Corson, Benson wrote that he believed Corson, himself, misconstrued the word dwelling unit, in that the wording of the ordinance does not preclude the possibility of other structures constituting a dwelling unit. Benson also said that the same basic section in the ordinance was worded five different ways throughout the entire Ordinance.

Many terms meaning home, dwelling or residence are used interchangeably throughout the Zoning Ordinance. The terms are not used in a way that makes them exclusive definitions or a particular section of the Ordinance, Benson wrote.

Benson went on to ask, if the distinction between dwelling and dwelling unit was so important, why wasnt it argued in court?

Six attorneys appeared on behalf of both parties throughout this case. None of them recognized a critical distinction between the terms until after the ruling was issued. If the distinction is so critical, why was the issue never presented by either party? Benson stated.

In his brief, Benson takes a swipe at comments made by Fillmore County Commission .....
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The Talk of the Town

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

What does a retired English teacher, a German immigrant and an Angus beef farmer have in common? This is not the set-up of a joke, just a partial composition of the Bluff Country Toastmasters Club.

Paul Walsh, the teacher; Hanna ..... 
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Fillmore County Commissioners prepare to sell county farm

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

County Surveyor David Knutson reported his findings in regard to the county farms borders, and parcels the county wishes to maintain. Approximately 464 acres (including two old demolition sites) will be offered to the public through a bidding proces ..... 
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Lanesboro City Council grants retail sales permit at special meeting

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

At a special meeting on Monday, May 10, the Lanesboro City Council, by a 4 to 1 vote, approved granting a permit to Jennifer Wood to operate a retail home business on her premises at 203 Sheridan. Council member Jerome Halvorson was the lone dissenti ..... 
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Harmony Council remains firm in new delinquent utilities policy

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

When the city council adopted the new delinquent utility policy in February it was hoped that those residents who are habitually late with payments will be motivated to pay their bills. Since then, the policy has stirred much controversy in the city. ..... 
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New well under consideration in Rushford

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

At their May 10th meeting, the Rushford City Council opted to cancel the bid for a booster water pump in the citys downtown area at the advise of the Water Commission. Bill Chang of BDM Engineering had suggested to the Water Commission to cancel the ..... 
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Hoffman named Preston city administrator

Fri, May 14th, 2004
Posted in Features

Joe Hoffman of Plainview has accepted the position of Preston City Administrator. The appointment was made at a special city council meeting on Wednesday, May 12.   Hoffman currently is the Executive Director of the Southeast ..... 
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Protesters hold rally in Preston against Heartland

Fri, May 7th, 2004
Posted in Features

PRESTON - Megan, an 18 year old senior at Winona High School, came because she wanted to help stop the tire burning plant.

The plant will not only effect Preston but the surrounding area, she said.

Megan ..... 
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DFL offers up few facts in Davids investigation

Fri, May 7th, 2004
Posted in Features

LANESBORO - Rep. John Lesch, DFL from St. Paul, held a press conference in Lanesboro on Friday afternoon, April 30, to discuss the preliminary findings of an investigation concerning allegations of intimidation by Rep. Greg Davids.

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