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Final plat OKd for Swan Lake project

WILLMAR -- A final plat for a residential development on Swan Lake in Kandiyohi Township was approved Monday by the Kandiyohi County Planning Commission. The plat includes six residential homes in an R-1 shoreland district.

Since the preliminary plat for the development was approved by the planning commission in May 2004, the proposal was side-lined in a Kandiyohi County court on the issue of who owned a road leading to the proposed development site.

When the application for the preliminary plat was made, it was believed the road was an unimproved township road. The applicants submitted a petition for the township to take over the road and improve it, which was denied by Kandiyohi Township.

The issue resulted in a civil lawsuit, according to Gary Geer, Kandiyohi County Zoning Administrator. The county was not involved with the litigation and Geer was not familiar with the specifics of the litigation.

He said, however, the court determined in 2005 that the road did not belong to the township.

The result could be a residential development without a safe access road available to get to the property, said Bruce Reuss, a member of the planning commission. "It's an issue of public safety," he said.

Reuss said the planning commission is required to consider land inside the plat. Since the road leading to the proposed development is outside the plat, the commission couldn't use the road problem as a reason to vote against the plat.

He said he was going to "hold his nose and vote yes" on the plat, which was approved unanimously, without abstention.

Reuss said he believes the county's zoning ordinance should be changed to address issues like this in the future.

In other action the planning commission:

- Approved a final plat for JerMar Estates in New London Township, which includes five residential lots in an R-3 rural residential district.

- Approved minor changes in the subdivision ordinance and zoning ordinance, including

increasing the number of members on the variance board from the current three members to five members who would represent the different districts in the county.

- Re-elected Dennis Goehring as chairman and Ed Huseby and vice-chairman.

The Kandiyohi County Commissioners will take final action on all of the planning commission's recommendations at their meeting next Tuesday.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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