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County lifts cease & desist order against Eagle Cliff

Fri, Jun 30th, 2006
Posted in Government

PRESTON - Both Harold and Ivan Naber were present at the June 27 County Board meeting Tuesday morning. In May 2005, the Nabers, who own Eagle Cliff Campground near Whalan, received a conditional use permit to expand their campground to 227 sites from the current 175 sites. They also had received a permit for a shoreline stabilization project from the DNR. This project was started in August of 2005.

Harold Naber noted that the erosion control project along the shoreline was pre-approved by the DNR and the Army Corp of Engineers. He admitted that they had exceeded the permit which only allowed for seeding and sloping for 500 feet along the shoreline. Naber said that they were unaware that they also needed a permit from the county for altering a flood plain. He insisted that they had always intended to work with the county and not against it. Mr. Naber complained that the project for the shoreline was a separate project from the campground expansion. He suggested that the resulting controversy subjected them and the campground to a lot of bad press. Naber insisted to date that no work has been done on the campground expansion. He said the projects were separate and that an application for the erosion control or shoreline project was submitted five months prior to the application for the expansion.

Chairman Duane Bakke explained that the two projects became one when the fill from the shoreline project was piled in the area for the expansion. Bakke said that he had been told while at the site that there would be no dirt work on the flood plain area where the expansion was to take place. Harold Naber said that he accepted Bakkes explanation.

Norman Craig, Fillmore County Zoning Administrator, stated in a letter to the board that the Nabers had completed the restoration plan that had been drafted by DNR Forester John Kelly. John Kelly also noted in a letter to Harold Naber that they had done a good job planting trees and shrubs. Craig said that he could lift the cease and desist order now that all requirements of the order have been satisfied, but requested the blessing of the board.

County Attorney Brett Corson said that he felt comfortable terminating the cease and desist order with the understanding that no work will proceed on the campground without satisfying all terms of the conditional use permit. Timothy Murphy, attorney for the Nabers, said in a letter that they would meet that condition. Murphy also explained that Harold is purchasing Ivans portion of the property.

Commissioner Stafford Hansen commented that this kind of business is needed in Fillmore County. Commissioners agreed that the restoration work was complete and therefore, the order will be lifted.


More discussion on whether to extend the conditional use permit (CUP) for the campground ensued. Ivan Naber made an emphatic statement that there will be no expansion of the campground under any conditions and that he and his wife, Gail, will no longer be involved.

Norman Craig and Corson wanted any withdrawal of the original CUP in writing. Bakke in an effort to protect the county from the possibility of a lawsuit said that the original CUP could be extended ten months or the approximate time that the cease and desist order was in effect. Commissioner Randy Dahl suggested that the countys cease and desist order didnt delay the project because to date a required permit from the MPCA for a sewer system has not been obtained.

A new application for another CUP has been made by Harold and Mary Naber. Assuming the Nabers withdraw the original CUP for the expansion of Eagle Cliff Campground, Harold and Mary Nabers application for another campground to be located east of Eagle Cliff Campground will be discussed at the next Planning and Zoning meeting on July 20. County Attorney Corson made it clear that there cannot be two CUPs on the same property at one time and that the original would have to be withdrawn prior to the July 20 meeting to have the new one considered.

The board agreed to extend the current CUP for ten months leaving the decision for any further action up to the Nabers. Chairman Bakke noted, Part of what we are doing is nothing. Craig explained that he believes Ivan Naber when he says that he wants out. Harold and Mary Nabers application will be a separate issue. Craig said that both brothers that signed the original CUP will have to agree to withdraw.


Journal editor John Torgrimson asked about a criminal or penalty phase. Corson noted that at this time there are no civil or criminal filings from the county. He said that the state has imposed an administrative fee. Craig said that both the DNR and the MPCA have imposed fines and that any further penalties would be counterproductive. Bakke noted that there was a $250 late fee and a permit application fee that have been paid by the Nabers.

Other Zoning Issues

The board approved the new Comprehensive Land Use Plan. A public hearing was held this past June 15. The Fillmore County Planning Commission had voted unanimously to recommend approval of the plan. Commissioner Chuck Amunrud extended thanks to all members serving on the committee and he recommended that the plan be update regularly every five years.

A possible resolution for counties to respect each others setbacks was discussed. The issue came to the forefront when a dwelling was to be built much closer to a feedlot, one on the Fillmore side and one on the Mower side, than Fillmore County ordinances allow.

Commissioner Marc Prestby suggested that agreements to respect neighboring county wishes be made with all neighboring counties. Amunrud warned that we dont want to dictate to other counties as to their setbacks. He suggested that more than feedlots and dwellings need to be considered. Corson advised that you can use words like recognize and respect, not words that make it binding, but that ask for a good effort.

The board agreed by consensus to ask Craig and Corson to work on a resolution.

An access permit for David and Tracie Mensink to CSAH #9 was approved.

Renewable Energy

Chuck Amunrud reported that the methane generator at Lake Mills, Iowa, where the land fill is located that serves Fillmore County is generating enough electricity at this time to service 5,000 homes. He noted that plans for a larger capacity are in the works. Methane gas recovery converted to electricity is considered a renewable source of energy. Amunrud was enthused about the potential for the future. He also described a tour of a recycling sorting facility in Minneapolis. Most of the sorting is done with machines, but some is accomplished by hand. The facility handles 800 tons per day. Four of the county commissioners went on the Waste Management tours.

Other Business

The Fillmore County Airport is to get a new runway. Highway engineer John Grindeland said that band aid repairs have pretty much been exhausted. Federal money will be used for 95% of the cost.

Deborah Teske, Emergency Management, offered a draft of an agreement for the county and municipalities in the county to share resources, personnel and equipment for emergency management planning and in the event of a local disaster or other emergency. Each municipality will need to appoint a Emergency Management Coordinator and an alternate both who will be required to complete training required by the National Incident Management System (NIMS).

Teske then went through a training program with the commissioners for an emergency plan for the courthouse building.

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