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Despite concerns, ordinance heads to County Board

By Staff | Jul 1, 2012

Despite concerns from several Faribault County citizens, the adult-use ordinance will go to the County Board for approval.

A public hearing was held by the Faribault County Planning Commission on June 25 to consider any comments or concerns from the public on the proposed ordinance.

Some citizens were frustrated with the idea of allowing any adult-use businesses to build in the area.

The ordinance is currently drafted to include several different types of adult-use businesses, including; bookstores, cabarets and novelty stores.

Kellen Borglum, a resident of Brush Creek which is one of the areas zoned in the drafted ordinance for an adult-use business, attended the public hearing to voice his concerns. “I have lived in Brush Creek all my life and I don’t feel like there is any place for a business like this there,”?he says.

Borglum was nervous that the ordinance would allow these businesses to build too close to the residential areas.

Blue Earth City Administrator Kathy Bailey, however, was uneasy with the distance they were allowed to be from school structures.

The setback drafted in the ordinance states that any adult use business must be 1,000 feet from dwelling sites, day cares, education facilities, hotels, nursing homes and other similar establishments.

“I’m in favor of putting an ordinance in place but with the suggestion that you review the setback,”?she says, suggesting that the setback be 2,000 feet instead.

The planning commission explained that while the ordinance needs to be thorough, they cannot be too restrictive.

“If we increase the setback, there may not be any place left for them,” county commissioner Tom Loveall says. “Then we end up right back where we started.”

There are four different areas in Faribault County zoned as a permitted location; one near I-90, one in Brush Creek, a strip along Highway 22 in Foster Township and one in Huntley.

The ordinance the county has drafted cannot rule on any land within city limits.

The two sites zoned by the county that had been thought to fall within Blue Earth’s city limits are actually just outside the city line and is under the county’s jurisdiction.

As mentioned at the June Blue Earth City Council meeting, the city of Blue Earth had already designated land for this themselves.

The planning commission reassured the public that the areas they zoned are well-thought out. If they go without designated areas, adult-use businesses are free to locate where ever they would like.

“The draft of the ordinance is assembled from two other counties’ ordinances,” County Attorney Troy Timmerman says.

Murray County specifically has a similar ordinance that has been long-standing and effective.

“I’m confident that with the ordinance we have drafted, if any business were to meet all of the qualifications, it would be a clean and safe establishment,”?says Michele Stindtman, Faribault County Soil and Water director.

Once the draft of the ordinance was gone through step by step, the meeting was opened for public comment.

Hearing only three comments from the public against the draft of the ordinance, it was moved that it be recommended to be approved by the County Board, with minor changes.

“I don’t want a business like this anywhere near me. But, after tonight I?feel a lot better,”?Borglum says. “It seems like an ordinance that will win out if anyone tried to challenge it at all.”

The ordinance will be brought to the County Board for approval July 3 county commissioner’s meeting.