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home : news : news
October 2, 2022

9/2/2022 1:13:00 PM
Lent-North Branch officials find consensus
Map above is hand drawn from Monday’s meeting.  It shows North Branch Rural Residential area in light yellow, above 360th, to be extended to include the colored boxes that are proposed for coming into the city (the platted parcels surrounded by the heavy dark line).  Property owners who specifically spoke with supervisors opposing going into North Branch, were excluded.  Road with angle to right side is #14.
Map above is hand drawn from Monday’s meeting.  It shows North Branch Rural Residential area in light yellow, above 360th, to be extended to include the colored boxes that are proposed for coming into the city (the platted parcels surrounded by the heavy dark line).  Property owners who specifically spoke with supervisors opposing going into North Branch, were excluded.  Road with angle to right side is #14.


Leaders of Lent Township and the City of North Branch came to consensus this week, on key elements in an orderly annexation process additionally dividing out the township into Chisago City  and Stacy.  If all things go as planned the state Office of Boundary Adjustments could be holding public hearings on an annexation package fairly soon.

North Branch City Administrator Renae Fry commented at Monday night’s session with Lent officials,  that city council could be reviewing draft agreement language by late September. Chisago City and Stacy will need to finalize their agreements and firm up the territory legal descriptions to be annexing into those cities and then the documents could be submitted as a package deal.

North Branch has a handful of parcels on the 360th Lent border that have expressed a preference to attach into North Branch.

Council members, minus Kathy Bloomquist and all five township supervisors agreed there will be a graduated property tax increase for parcels entering North Branch over five years, at 20 percent of actual.  Mayor Jim Swenson said the city is okay with that mostly because of on-going historic sharing of road maintenance etc. in that area.  

Fry added the city public works director sees the North Branch taxation accommodation as “not a hardship to the department.”  
Any property owners affected by proposed Stacy or Chisago City annexations are not included in this.

Township Board Chair Rick Keller added, “It makes perfect sense.”  Keller was hopeful the package of documents could be ready to go to an administrative law judge by the end of the year.

Supervisor Carolyn Cagle went to bat for parcels on or near 360th that have owners who oppose going into North Branch even though neighbors have petitioned to.  Cagle said officials are drawing boundary lines randomly already in response to petitioning property owners who prefer North Branch to Stacy—  so why can’t those opposed to annexing into the north, be accomodated?

When the city response was that the agreement can’t have jagged lines and the area to be annexed needs to be compact for purposes of plowing and taxing districts, Supervisor Jess Eischens asked why can’t there be jagged lines?

The consensus was to have the legal team review the area drawn out, an if it’s okay legally, then those who have asked to opt out of the North Branch annexation exemption from Stacy, can.

Land Use will continue as Rural Residential.

The city has no intention of extending municipal services and well and septic uses are assumed to continue.  Any development proposals will have to come in with a developer-built road— or will be constrained to a max of two lots sharing a drive, with  110 feet existing public road frontage.

Additional questions about the process included, fees.  

There will be state boundary adjustment costs and legal hours billed and the officials agreed township costs will be township responsibility and city costs will be paid by North Branch and in the meantime any grey areas can be covered by North Branch and reviewed if needed.

Supervisor Brian Seekon said Stacy agreement language is close to 90 percent finalized and Stacy and Chisago City, as well as North Branch have been smooth to work with.  Chair Keller and echoed the sentiment adding his hope that the package of orderly annexation contracts could be completed and passed along to the state by the end of the year.

There were no Stacy or Chisago representatives attending this confab Monday this week.  Several affected property owners were in the audience.  No land lying west of I-35 is being considered in this part of the North Branch discussion.  

It is of paramount importance, it was noted, to get this correct because once the township of Lent goes away,  there is no process to annex out of one municipality and attach into another.  Landowners currently within the township can’t be absorbed by Stacy and decide later they should have gone into North Branch or Chisago City.



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