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Rushford Village hits “attractive nuisance” dilemma


By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 23rd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The Rushford Village Council and Planning and Zoning Commission met jointly Tuesday, March 17 to discuss further modifications and amendments to Zoning Ordinance 5. Pictured (L-R) is City Attorney Tom Manion, Planning and Zoning Commissioners Bruce Hovland and Joyce Iverson, and Zoning Administrator Jon Pettit. Photo by Kirsten Zoellner

The Rushford Village Planning and Zoning Commission has spent considerable time in the last several years updating and clarifying zoning ordinances. Confusing or unneeded language, poor definition, and complicated variables have been carefully ironed out, but some still linger. At the Tuesday, March 17 meeting, the council and commission met jointly, during a public hearing, over Zoning Ordinance 5, sections 1100-11600 and 1700-2700. Of specific concern were section 1500, detailing land alteration, excavation and mining, and fencing of what is deemed an “attractive nuisance”, and section 1800, concerning zoning applications and permitting.

Just three interested parties attended the hearing; Harold Naber, owner/operator of Trailside Campground, and Tony Tomashek and Andrew Peters of Mathy Construction Company, headquartered in Onalaska, Wisc.

Planning and Zoning Commissioner Joyce Iverson detailed the majority of changes. Largely, the changes are sought as a means of more clearly and consistently defining the ordinances and protecting the city. Considered changes included defining “city” as any representative acting for the city, “owner of record”, as the responsible party, instead of less restrictive “land owner”, and “applicant” as a person of interest or standing in an application, such as a legal standing with a purchase agreement, contract for deed, or long-term loan.

It was also determined that the city would buckle down on 60-days to evaluate and approve or deny a permit application, lest the application be approved by not responding within the time period. The only instance in which this may differ is if the city notifies the applicant, by mail, within 15 days of receipt. Mail will be sent by first class to either the address on the permit or the last known address, rather than by certified mail. It was determined that by sending first class, to address on record, if the mail doesn’t come back to the city, it’s legally perceived as received, whereas certified mail would require a signature. The state of Minnesota utilizes first class mail, rather than certified.

Terminology aside, the majority of discussion, which several times included multiple conversations at one time, centered on what constituted land alteration and clearly defining guidelines for attractive nuisances in commercial/industrial and residential areas, such as holding or quarry ponds. “Over time, we .....
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Journal Writing Project: Star Trek in today’s culture

By Jeremiah Munson


On Friday, February 27, 2015, the world lost a cultural icon. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who portrayed Spock in Star Trek, died at the age of 83. Some people might argue that Spock was not a large cultural icon, but many people would disagree. Wheth ..... 
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Fire claims Rushford Village barn; family grateful for outpouring

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Mar 2nd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Features

By all accounts, the Scaife family of Rushford is soft-spoken, hard-working, and faithful. When an early morning fire swept through their two-story dairy barn this past Tuesday, while shaken, the family trudged on, grateful for what the fire spared. ..... 
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Rushford Village waits on bridge permit; tackles zoning

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 23rd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Government

The City of Rushford Village continues to wait on permitting from the Army Corps of Engineers for the Tuff Lane Bridge project. Other permitting is in place, according to project engineer Brian Malm, of Bolton & Menk, but corps permission may come a ..... 
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Rushford Village to clarify zoning language

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 9th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Government

City of Rushford Village council meetings continue to be swift and no nonsense as the year progresses. At the Tuesday, February 3 meeting, the council tackled just six items, monthly financials, and additional updates and meeting information. A la ..... 
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Rushford-Peterson hits at security issue

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Feb 2nd, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Education

The R-P School District is considering options for increased security measures at the school in light of parent concerns last October. A policy for identification of staff and visitors is in place, with all non-authorized personnel to check in at ..... 
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RenewableRays project a shining success

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Progress Edition

As the bandwagon for renewable energy rolls on, energy cooperatives are joining in the efforts, despite not being afforded the same tax breaks as private energy firms. By and large, solar arrays, dubbed “gardens,” are popping up not just in la ..... 
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Rushford Village discusses proposed rate hike

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Government

While the Tuesday, January 20 Rushford Village Council meeting was brief, the Council managed to get in plenty of discussion over a City of Rushford sewer rate hike, which will lead to increases for some Village residents. Mayor Gordon Johnson, Co ..... 
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Despite chill, skating event draws big numbers

By Kirsten Zoellner

Mon, Jan 26th, 2015
Posted in Rushford Village Social Scenes

The ice is one of Minnesotan’s great loves and although the Rushford Peterson Valley may be home to the mighty, mighty Trojans, there aren’t trophies and pennants for hockey or ice skating lining the school halls… yet. Years ago, the communi ..... 
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