Crosslake Council, CWC Board meetings to decide fate of Crosslake P&Z Dept.
Web posted September 24, 2013
By Paul Boblett, Editor
The Crosslake City Council has scheduled a meeting for tonight (Sept. 24) at 7 pm to decide the fate of the city’s Planning and Zoning (P&Z) department.
The meeting is planned as a continuance of Monday’s meeting, said Crosslake council member Mark Wessels.
Wessels and council member Gary Heacox brought the measure forward to be included on the Crosslake council agenda after meeting with Crow Wing County (CWC) Land Services Department staff to discuss what options the city has concerning P&Z.
The second regular monthly meeting of the Crosslake council was Monday, Sept. 23, but the CWC Board of Commissioners will take up the matter this morning around 10 am as part of their regular agenda.
“If the county decides they’re not interested in providing services to Crosslake, the meeting tonight will be a short one,” said Wessels.
The CWC Board Sept. 24 agenda states the recommended board action is a motion to consider the City of Crosslake's request for the Land Services Department to provide Planning and Zoning services for the City, stated as Option C in the council memo.
If Option C is approved by both CWC and the council, the administrative provisions include the county agreeing to be responsible to review and approve all planning and zoning permit requests within the city. Permit fees for review, approval, inspection and enforcement of SSTS would be according to the most recent fee schedule approved by the council.
CWC Land Services will hire adequate staff to provide planning and zoning services to Crosslake and said staff shall be located at the City Hall.
The county will manage the public hearing process related to variances, plats, conditional use permits and zoning map amendments according to the City Zoning Ordinance and Minnesota Statutes 462.
It also includes enforcement, and taking appropriate action to bring parcels into compliance with the City Zoning Ordinance. The city would remain responsible for pursuing any civil or criminal violations.
If CWC agrees to the Memorandum of Understanding, the City’s cost will be $15,834 per month for the remainder of 2013 and all of 2014.
There is also a provision for either party to terminate the memorandum with no less than 120 days notice. The party that terminates is responsible for associated costs such as unemployment insurance.
Wessels confirmed by phone Friday that the two Crosslake P&Z positions, currently held by Ken Anderson and Bryan Hargrave, would be terminated if the county and city agree on the proposal.
Wessels said that there are no plans for any public hearings, “We’ve been talking about it for months - and there is a lot of frustration. Everyone wants another [sic] committee and nothing ever gets done. This has been going on 3 years and it’s time to move forward.”
“Critics [of the proposal] are a dime a dozen,” said Wessels. “Crow Wing County has won national awards, improved their service, are the first county in the state to adopt the DNR Shoreland rules, all while cutting their staff and budget immensely.”
“I’m pretty sure I’ll vote for Option C, if it comes to a vote,” added Wessels, “but if you have got a better way to save $140 thousand, then by all means…”
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