Court says Lac qui Parle board in-line on proposed power facility
MADISON -- The state Court of Appeals has ruled that the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners "did not act unreasonably, arbitrarily or capriciously and did not abuse its discretion" in granting a conditional use permit allowing Karian Pet...
MADISON -- The state Court of Appeals has ruled that the Lac qui Parle County Board of Commissioners "did not act unreasonably, arbitrarily or capriciously and did not abuse its discretion" in granting a conditional use permit allowing Karian Peterson Power Line Contracting LLC to build a facility near the Camp Release historic monument.
The ruling was released Tuesday as an unpublished opinion. A group of nearby residents, the Eagle Ridge Homeowners Association, had accused the Lac qui Parle County Board of violating the county's land-use ordinance in issuing the permit.
The group argued that the operation was not an "essential service" exempt from restrictions that would prohibit its placement on land zoned for agriculture.
The appeals court decision noted that the county's land-use ordinance sets forth a list of 20 conditional uses that may be approved for an agricultural district, the zone where the Karian Peterson facility is located. One of the items includes "essential services" including dams, power plants, switching yards, transmission lines ... "and buildings supporting essential services."
The 10-acre site is zoned for agricultural use. The county Planning and Zoning Commission and the Board of Commissioners both made unanimous decisions to approve a conditional use permit and allow the development.
In May 2007, the homeowners group sought a temporary injunction and filed a civil action against the contractor. The injunction was denied in district court and the civil action was later dismissed. The homeowners group in May 2007 also sought a ruling from the state appeals court.
Karian Peterson is owned by seven rural electric associations, including the Minnesota Valley Power and Light Cooperative headquartered in Montevideo. It repairs electrical lines and performs other services for electrical utilities.
-- Tribune reporter Tom Cherveny contributed to this report.