Following a public hearing prior to the Tuesday, May 21 council meeting, it was recommended that the city formally approve the updated Floodplain Management Ordinance. The city is required to have the ordinance in order for needed parcels to qualify for Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood insurance. FEMA, along with the Minnesota Department of Education, has also recently updated all floodplain maps.
No further discussion regarding the ordinance was had during the council meeting. A summary will be published, but the full ordinance is available online or at city hall. The new mapping becomes official August 15. The council approved it unanimously.
The Planning and Zoning Committee will be holding a public hearing Tuesday, June 18, at 6:30 p.m. for the purpose of considering an application for variance from Terry Hubbard, 44587 Oakview Loop. Hubbard is requesting a variance for the construction of a shed on his subdivision parcel.
The ordinance referenced in the variance application is 1509.06, referencing no accessory building or structure front yards. Hubbard is requesting to the construct the shed in the northwest corner of his corner lot. His residence sits in the southeast corner and while it faces Highway 43, the street address is Oakview Loop. After reviewing his variance application, the committee voted to support bringing a variance forward for a public hearing.
Neighbors John and JoAnn DeGeorge, also at the meeting, sought to clarify the front of the house. “The side you access it from,” responded Mayor Gordon Johnson. Councilor Dennis Overland noted the ordinance specifies this.
Zoning Administrator Jon Pettit noted two examples in the Village in which homes were allowed to build accessory buildings in similar situations. “It’s exactly what this variance is for,” said Pettit. JoAnn DeGeorge expressed concern over the affect a structure would have on the waterflow of the subdivision.
Hubbard stated he’d asked for copies of the building permit and the original building plans, which he said were to be kept on record at the Village Hall. “You are supposed to have copies of it, but when the file opened, there was only a copy of building permit. There were no plans stating where front was and what the layout is. The builder, L&L Volkman gave copies of building plans to the city.”
“That’s the only copy,” said Hubbard. He stated the zoning administrator at the time, Howard Otis, had done a site visit following construction, but the council maintained inspections by the city have never been done.
“There were follow-up visits to sites,” said Joyce Iverson, who has served on the zoning committee and as city clerk. “That’s not my recollection.”
“We were encouraged to do; we just never have,” responded Johnson. DeGeorge suggested the council review the site personally prior to the public hearing.
During the public comment period, resident Arden Fitzgerald expressed concern over speeding in south Rushford. “I want to know when and if the Village is ever going to do something about speeding,” he said. “It’s 20 miles per hour on every street, but no one pays attention.” The Village purchased speed bumps for roadways in south Rushford last year, but they haven’t been placed yet. The council assured Fitzgerald they would be.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, June 18, at 7 p.m., at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.