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Wells Council reverses the decision of commission

March 4, 2012
by Antonio Acosta - Register Staff Writer (tacosta@faribaultcountyregister.com) , Faribault County Register

Input from the city's Planning Commission, an engineering firm and concerns of residents were not enough to sway the Wells City Council.

Following a public hearing Monday night, Schrader Enterprises was granted a conditional-use-permit to locate their landscaping business in a residential zoned area.

Approval comes less than a week after members of the Planning Commission voted at their Feb. 22 public hearing recommending the council deny Schrader's request.

Prior to the City Council deciding, members of the audience were given a chance to speak.

Brad Potter of I & S Group, an engineering firm hired by the city to review Schrader's permit application, says conditional uses of R-2 zoned property allows for low-intensity service operations.

"But, that is not clearly defined in city ordinance. It would set a precedence of allowing businesses in a residential area," says Potter. "We feel according to your city code and ordinance it (permit) should be denied."

Brad Heggen of Heggen Realty spoke in favor of Schrader Enterprises re-locating to the former mobile home park located along County Road 29.

While his business handled the sale of the property, Heggen says the area will see little impact because it is already commercialized.

"The Housing Redevelopment Authority would have loved to have housing built in that area, but there has been no interest in that immediate area," Heggen says.

Diane Morgan, who lives nearby, expressed concerns of water runoff issues and trash problems when the trailer park was in operation.

"It's a beautiful lot. I would very much like to keep it residential. I don't know why we couldn't use the two industrial parks," she says.

City officials have said costly infrastructure improvements are needed for businesses to operate at the industrial parks.

Councilman Steve Burns had questions regarding surface water runoff, health safety of the public.

Resident Peggy Mosser says she doesn't think a landscaping business is appropriate for a residential area because of the chemicals and heavy equipment used.

Tony Mosser says the Schraders wanting to expand is honorable, but they have no place to do so.

"He wants to do it right dab in the middle of a residential area, my neighborhood," he says.

Mosser urged city officials to focus efforts on developing the industrial parks.

Councilwoman Ashley Seedorf says the owners of Schrader Enterprises in the past have always properly used and stored any chemicals.

"I want to see our businesses stay and not go anywhere else, but it's hard when someone wants to build a house and they say there is nowhere to build," she says.

Under a resolution approving the conditional-use-permit, the council has determined the proposed use will not be detrimental to the public's health, safety and general welfare.

The Schraders also must:

submit a drainage plan to the city for review and approval;

meet all city, state and federal regulations;

locate buildings outside of easement areas;

erect fencing for limited visibility of storage areas.

 
 

 

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