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June 20, 2021

5/28/2021 2:22:00 PM
Crowd attends County Board to be heard on permit

It’s been awhile since the County Board Room was alive with citizen participaton, but last week public microphone returned in fine form.  The lifting of mask restrictions and the requested campground use of a parcel at Goose Lake came together to generate a lengthy collection of statements from affected parties.

The permit application was submitted by Kahleen Green, for a site on Beach Road in Fish Lake Township She resides in Ham Lake but the local property has passed down in the family. The county land use inspector visited the site on Beach Road, responding to a complaint, and he advised Green to apply for a permit for “campgrounds’ or she would be cited for violating the 48-hour RV/camper regulations.

Site regulations under a conditional use permit would include a time limit for the camping units to remain, hours for “quiet” and maximum occupancy numbers.

The county planning commission had recommended denial.

The County Board agreed, 5-0, saying activities of a campground, even one meant just for “family use”  don’t blend with surrounding single family land uses.  The gist was— that if the campers/RVs were allowed to be more permanent and not required to be moved every 48 hours, the activities that neighbors find offensive will intensify.

Several disgruntled neighboring property owners speaking before the Board action,  expressed problems currently causing concern and opposed opening this to even conditional uses.

The site is “substandard” when compared to Agriculture parcels,  a land class where a campground is eligible to be permitted in Chisago County. AG zoning has a minimum lot size of five acres and this application is for a .92 acre lot.

One citizen said based on previous experience with this location; the Board isn’t only being asked to authorize a campground, but a dog park, a resort, a marina and a parking lot.

Fish Lake Town Board approved the concept in April, however, because it was felt that granting special permission to leave the campers on-site, would result in less disruption, less dust on gravel roads, etc.

 The Goose Lake neighborhood crowd was advised by Commissioner Marlys Dunne they need to come together and mediate some of the hostility expressed during open mic.  She felt even though the “permit” was not granted there still could be trouble ahead.

In other business, the County Board over rode a planning commission recommendation to table action on a wedding venue and private events application in Chisago Lake Township North, at Furuby Road and Quinlan.    Brody Heggerston, is pursuing the CUP on behalf of owners, Deb and Craig Heggerston.  

The permit had been recommended to be tabled as the county planning commission said it is looking for more information and detail
County Board Chair Chris DuBose said last week that subsequent communications with Heggerston developed details, and he was ready to vote.  The site is in the chairman’s district, so the others yielded.

County Commissioner  Rick Greene made the motion to allow the business, with parking on Furuby Road prohibited, among a dozen or so other conditions, and it passed 5-0.

The barn and pole building are in good repair, according to an engineering opinion provided with the application.  The venue will be called Majestic Oak Ranch.

A member representing Chisago County on the Comfort Lake-Forest Lake Watershed District has resigned.  The vacancy is not for a specific lake, an applicant must simply reside in the watershed district area which is the lower part of Chisago County/South Chisago Lake Township.  The group meets in Forest Lake.  This appointee will fill in until September 2021, when the term was scheduled to expire.

The interchange at #19 and I-35 at Stacy is on the work plan to be reconstructed.

The county has enlisted Stantec which is Stacy’s engineering firm, to begin planning and evaluating existing conditions. The county commissioners approved contracting for concept development services. This phase helps set the budget and is foundation for funding requests.

Engineer Joe Triplett also reports the round-about at Green Lake Trail and Lofton, south of Chisago City, is progressing well.  “We have a good idea of where construction limits are,” Triplett remarked, “and we can do most (of the project) inside existing right of way.” The plan is about 50 percent final.  (See graphic below.)

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