Mike and Cindy Tomashek’s application for a conditional use permit for an event venue on their property, Camp Creek Farm, was discussed during a public hearing at the September 21 Fillmore County Planning commission meeting. The property is located one-half mile southeast of Preston in Section 5, Preston Township.
Cindy Tomashek said the 2,400-square-foot building that had been converted to a reception hall for their daughter’s wedding in 2013 needs to be used. The building has a handicapped accessible bathroom and patio areas adjacent to the event center. She said their goal is to hold four to six major events in a season running from May to September. The country, landscaped setting could be ideal for “weddings, receptions, family reunions, quilting groups, corporate events, and non-profit benefits/fundraisers.” There is also a renovated barn which could be used for small group meetings and a gazebo suitable for an outdoor ceremony.
Weekend evening events would run no later than 11 p.m., with the premises vacated by midnight. Weekday events would close by 10 p.m. There will be no on-site meal preparation. Licensed food/beverage caterers will provide food and drink. Portable toilets for crowds over 50 will be required.
There was no comment from township officers or the public. Chairman Gary Ruskell said there was sufficient parking area. He said he would like a noise restriction. Tomashek pointed to the time restrictions they will impose. Duane Bakke asked if the restrictions that they have put on event center conditional use permits should be written into the ordinance. Zoning administration Cristal Adkins agreed they could be so the same conditions would not have to be attached to each CUP.
The property access is directly off Highway 52.
The CUP was approved unanimously and will go to the county board for their approval tenatively at their October 3 meeting.
There will be a public hearing at the next meeting to be held October 26 on a county buffer ordinance. Bakke explained that the shoreland language that is in the county zoning ordinances is under DNR jurisdiction. The buffer rule is under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR). Bakke said we need to approve their model language.
Language would include the requirement of a 50-foot average, 30-foot minimum buffer. Bakke stated we don’t have any drainage authority. BWSR’s draft model allows for options, including enforcement options: criminal prosecution only, administrative penalty only, or both criminal prosecution and administrative penalty orders. Bakke recommended the last option. He also presented a step by step procedure to deal with buffer non-compliance. Non-compliance is initially identified by SWCD or reported to them by a third party. This begins the process of enforcement to get a corrective action from the landowner.
Fillmore County is about 97% compliant now with the buffer law.
Other business in brief
• Adkins noted that Martin County has a combined wind and solar ordinance. She has been studying other county ordinances in this area and expects to bring this back at a later date.
• The commission discussed several other zoning issues. No action was taken.