Minutes of Zoning Commission Meeting held March 13, 2012.
I. Call to Order. Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Commission members present were Susan Nelson, Dean Tjaden, Tami Vetter and Glen Zubrod. Also present was Misty Day, Assistant Administrator. Roll call of Commission members was taken and four (4) out of five (5) members were present with Board Member Dennis Carney being absent. John Gohr, Pete Johnston, Jason Johnston, Realtor Yolanda Lichman, Jim Dow, Mark Black, Jim Davis, and Larry & Vicky Sonne were also present for the hearing.
II. Approval of Agenda. A motion to approve the Agenda as presented was made by Dean Tjaden and was seconded by Glen Zubrod. The motion was unanimously approved.
III. Approval of Minutes. A motion to approve the February 6, 2012, minutes was made by Glen Zubrod and was seconded by Tami Vetter. The motion was unanimously approved.
IV. Public Comment Period. No public comments were received.
V. Old Business. No old business.
VI. New Business.
A. A public hearing regarding a request by James Dow to rezone 73.75 acres of property located at 2127 – 8th Street SW in the NW¼ of Section 15 and NE¼ of Section 16, Township 95 North, Range 18 West, Rockford Township, from C-1 to AG for the purpose of turning a golf course club house into a residence and turning the golf course into tillable ground.
Board Member Glen Zubrod inquired as to what the CSR for the subject parcel was. Applicant James Dow stated that the average CSR was around 69. Applicant Dow gave a presentation regarding his application by stating that he wants to turn the golf course into a farm and sell the club house off as a residence because the golf course could no longer support itself and after 6 years of losing money he decided he should do something different. He looked at soil numbers and found out there was a lot of good ground out there so he decided to till it up and farm it himself. The club house is currently listed and a purchase agreement has been signed. Assistant Day pointed out that her staff report stated that approximately 14 acres would be split off for the residence but upon surveying the property they discovered a discrepancy with that acreage number and she asked the applicant to elaborate on that. Applicant Dow stated that the true acreage number will be at least 10 acres. Chair Susan Nelson stated that she noticed the club house was just out of the floodplain and inquired as to whether this property had ever flooded. Applicant Dow stated that it has not. The campground is in a low lying area about 3’ from the river which is in the floodplain, but the club house itself was located on a 30’ bank.
Mark Black spoke in support of the application by stating that he has entered into a purchase agreement with Mr. Dow to purchase the club house to turn into a residence along with approximately 10 acres. Mr. Black stated that he has talked to his insurance company about the floodplain and they have been out to look at the property and agree that it would be unlikely that the club house would ever flood. He has received a commitment for insurance coverage from this company. Mr. Black stated that he could get survey shots to prove this to the DNR but looking at it, the floodplain lines are simply not logical for that club house so that issue has at least been looked at.
A motion to approve the request by James Dow to rezone 73.75 acres of property located at 2127 – 8th Street SW in the NW¼ of Section 15 and NE¼ of Section 16, Township 95 North, Range 18 West, Rockford Township, from C-1 to AG for the purpose of turning a golf course club house into a residence and turning the golf course into tillable ground, was made by Dean Tjaden and seconded by Glen Zubrod. The motion was unanimously approved.
B. A public hearing regarding a request by Jason Johnston to rezone 1.55 acres of property located at 2638 – 155th Street in the SW¼ of Section 14, Township 96 North, Range 16 West, Floyd Township, from AG to R-1 for the purpose of building a new house on less than 10 acres.
Applicant Jason Johnston submitted a map to the Commission and gave a presentation regarding his request by stating that he and his father are joint owners of a 45 acre parcel located North of Charles City on 155th Street. He would like to take 1.55 acres and build a residential home on that. There is 3.1 tillable acres; 1.9 acres are being utilized for a wind row which was planted by the DNR, the DNR also planted trees on the remainder of the parcel that was not already covered with trees, leaving the 3.1 acres as the only tillable ground. Chair Nelson inquired about the 2.2 acres shown on the map as also being tillable ground and Applicant Johnston agreed that this was also tillable ground. Applicant Johnston pointed out where the house would be located and the lane he would use to access it. The area covered with existing trees is also in the forest reserve. Applicant Johnston also pointed out a residential area to the North of this parcel. Assistant Day made her staff report a part of the record and stated that very little of this parcel was being utilized for tillable ground and although the 1.55 acres where the house will be located is prime agricultural ground, the remainder of the parcel is not being utilized for tillable agricultural purposes so there would be very little taken out of production. Pete Johnston spoke in support of the request and asked the Commission to approve Mr. Johnston’s application.
A motion to approve the request by Jason Johnston to rezone 1.55 acres of property located at 2638 – 155th Street in the SW¼ of Section 14, Township 96 North, Range 16 West, Floyd Township, from AG to R-1 for the purpose of building a new house on less than 10 acres, was made by Tami Vetter and seconded by Dean Tjaden. The motion was unanimously approved.
C. A public hearing regarding a request by Michael Molstead for approval of a Final Subdivision Plat for two (2) out of thirteen (13) lots on a 17.65 acre parcel located in the NE¼ of Section 20, Township 95 North, Range 15 West, St. Charles Township.
Jim Davis was present on behalf of Michael Molstead. Assistant Day stated that the Final Plat was pretty much in accordance with the Preliminary Plat that was approved by the Commission last fall, with a few minor changes including lot numbering. Assistant Day also pointed out that the City of Charles City did sign a Resolution approving the Final Plat but it was dated before the Final Plat had even been prepared so she thought it was actually meant to approve the Preliminary Plat that was submitted to the City around the same time. Upon talking with County Attorney Norm Klemesrud, he felt this could be a potential title issue in the future and that it should be up to Mr. Molstead’s attorney to have it corrected if he felt it would be an issue.
Larry & Vicky Sonne spoke regarding the request. Mrs. Sonne stated that they are not opposed to Mr. Molstead building on these lots, but as they mentioned during the Preliminary Plat hearing, their farm is located right across the road and they would like to see something in each abstract for this Subdivision noting that this is an agricultural area and that agricultural activities will be taking place near this Subdivision. Mrs. Sonne mentioned that Mr. Molstead was going to visit with his attorney about that but without him being here, they are unsure where he is at with this. Mr. Davis has not spoken to Mr. Molstead about this directly but if he has agreed to that type of restriction, his attorney, Russ Schroeder, can draft that restriction and record it and it will show up on the abstracts. Chair Nelson stated that she does not believe that this would be a condition for the Commission’s approval, but at least they made a public comment and it sounds like it would be taken care of.
A motion to approve the request by Michael Molstead for approval of a Final Subdivision Plat for two (2) out of thirteen (13) lots on a 17.65 acre parcel located in the NE¼ of Section 20, Township 95 North, Range 15 West, St. Charles Township, was made by Dean Tjaden and seconded by Tami Vetter. The motion was unanimously approved.
D. Discussion was had regarding the Rules of Procedure and the Agenda. Assistant Day noted that Chair Nelson wanted to eliminate some items from the Agenda and since the Agenda was a reflection of the Rules of Procedure, it would be good to discuss those items at this time and make amendments to the Rules of Procedures accordingly. Chair Nelson thought it would help her do a better job if the Agenda was a more condensed version, specifically eliminating the directions to ask those speaking in support of and opposed to, etc., found under each hearing description. The Commission did not feel it was necessary to amend the Rules of Procedure and suggested that Assistant Day create a post card with these directions instead of including them on each and every agenda.
Discussion was had regarding roll call vote. Chair Nelson did not think roll call vote was necessary for each and every motion regarding rezoning changes. Assistant Day pointed out that the Commission has done roll call vote for each motion since she started this position and it was also outlined in the Rules of Procedure that it must be roll call vote. Commission Member Tami Vetter thought that it was important to keep roll call vote. It was determined that roll call vote would remain as outlined in the Rules of Procedure.
Discussion was had regarding changes to the Rules of Procedure. Discussion was also has regarding the term of Co-Chair versus Vice-Chair. The term Co-Chair had been utilized for some time but Commission Member Dean Tjaden inquired as to whether it was more appropriate to use the term Vice-Chair. It was determined that Vice-Chair was contained in the Rules of Procedure and the Ordinance was silent regarding this terminology. It was also determined that the minutes from February 6, 2012, should be amended to include the term Vice-Chair instead of Co-Chair and all future minutes and agendas would also reference Vice-Chair.
A motion to approve the Rules of Procedure was made by Tami Vetter and was seconded by Dean Tjaden with the following amendments; 1) remove Creation paragraph with the exception of the last line regarding the Planning & Zoning Commission consisting of five (5) members, 2) move Public Comment section found at paragraph IV under Procedure of Meetings section to Section IX just before Adjournment, 3) change the word ‘in’ to ‘on’ in line three of Ex parte Contacts, 4) make ‘apart’ two words in line six of Ex parte Contacts, 5) un-capitalize the S in State in line two of Conflict of Interest, and 6) make ‘anytime’ two words in line four of Continuances. Roll call vote was held and the motion was unanimously approved.
VII. Adjournment. A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Tami Vetter and seconded by Dean Tjaden. The motion was unanimously approved.
Jeff D. Sherman