Minutes of Zoning Commission Meeting held June 28, 2011.
I. Call to Order. Meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m. Commission members present were Thomas Schwab, Duane Koch, Susan Nelson, Dean Tjaden and Tami Vetter. Also present were Jeff Sherman-Administrator. Roll call of Commission members was taken and all five (5) members were present, with Commission member Susan Nelson arriving after roll call.
II. Approval of Agenda. A motion to approve the agenda as presented was made by Dean Tjaden and seconded by Duane Koch. Motion was unanimously approved.
III. Approval of Minutes. A motion to approve the Minutes from the June 14, 2011, meeting was made by Duane Koch and seconded by Dean Tjaden. 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 Carville Cabins Homeowners’ Association for approval of a Final Subdivision Plat for thirty (30) lots and a request to rezone the remainder of the parcel located at 2531 Windfall Avenue in the SW¼ Fr’l NW¼ & NW¼ SW¼ of Section 1 and E½ Fr’l NE¼ of Section 2, Township 94 North, Range 15 West, Riverton Township, Floyd County, Iowa, from AG to R-1. Attorney Christopher O’Donohoe and cabin owner Roger Hansen were present on behalf of Carville Cabins Homeowners’ Association. Cabin owners Phil and Anita Destwal and Roger Sutton were also present for the hearing. Chair Schwab began by stating that the Commission had already sat on the Petition to Rezone at an earlier date and that an error in the legal description was discovered and in order to clean that up the Petition to Rezone was now before the Commission once again. Attorney Christopher O’Donohoe spoke on behalf of the Homeowners’ Association and stated that he is the attorney for the Association and that the proposed Subdivision is an as-built Subdivision with a number of cabins that have existed since WWII. Attorney O’Donohoe stated that the cabin area was expanded 10 years ago to include the 4 northern lots and that the cabins were located on leased land. The cabin owners have now formed a Homeowners’ Association and purchased the land on contract. Eventually each cabin owner will own their own lot and that is the purpose of the Subdivision. Roger Sutton posed a question regarding the cabin owned by the Strawns and the leach field that extends onto the surrounding farm ground, which he owns, and whether this application includes approval of said sewer line extending onto his property. Administrator Sherman pointed out where the leach lines extended past the lot line on a map for the Commission. Administrator Sherman stated that the septic system was installed three (3) years ago prior to the land being surveyed and split off. Sutton added that when the property was surveyed someone moved his survey stakes, and although he does not object to the Platting he does object to the sewer being on his property. Attorney O’Donohoe stated that it was his understanding that each septic system would be treated and handled individually at the time the lot was conveyed to the cabin owner. Administrator Sherman stated that the system was already there and Attorney O’Donohoe stated that this would be more of a civil matter. Sutton stated that he agreed he just wanted to make sure it was not part of the Platting process. Administrator Sherman stated that at the time the system was installed it was approved by him. Chair Schwab stated that he agrees there is an issue with the sewer line, but does not believe it is an issue for the Commission to handle. Roger Hansen spoke in support of the Subdivision Plat stating that the cabins would be improved, the property value would be improved, and the tax base would go up.
Phil Destwal spoke in opposition to the request and stated that he owns a cabin in the proposed Subdivision and as it stands, the Association wants to put an easement through his lot and he is not in favor of that. Destwal stated that his survey stakes were also moved and his lot was not surveyed properly. Commission Member Nelson inquired as to which lot he owned and it was determined that he and his wife will own Lot 4. Attorney O’Donohoe stated that this is an internal matter the Destwals need to work out with the Homeowners’ Association, as they are not land owners the Association is and this is the Plat prepared by the Association. Attorney O’Donohoe stated that he has started to investigate this problem and there were never any property lines just vague metes and bounds descriptions on the lease and there have been issues between some of the cabin owners all of which have all been successfully resolved except for this one, which the Association is currently trying to resolve. Chair Schwab inquired as to when the survey was prepared and it was determined that it was prepared this year. Sutton added that he owns the lot designated as Parcel A, not a part of the Subdivision, and through easements he was granted access across Lots 4, 5 and 6 in order to maintain his docks and shoreline. Commission Member Nelson inquired as to whether the easement is recorded and he stated that it was recorded when he purchased the surrounding farm ground. Sutton identified the access easement on the map for the Commission. Attorney O’Donohoe added that the easement is due to the elevation difference between the part of Sutton’s lot that sits along the river and the northern portion of the lot. Destwal inquired whether it would be harder to resolve their issues with the Association after the Plat has been recorded and Chair Schwab stated that the Commission can not speak to that as it is not a zoning issue but a more internal issue. Commission Member Koch stated that he feels the issue of moving stakes is not a zoning issue at all. Commission Member Nelson suggested that the Destwals speak to an attorney to work with Mr. O’Donohoe to resolve their issues.
A motion to approve the request by Carville Cabins Homeowners’ Association for approval of a Final Subdivision Plat for thirty (30) lots and a request to rezone the remainder of the parcel located at 2531 Windfall Avenue in the SW¼ Fr’l NW¼ & NW¼ SW¼ of Section 1 and E½ Fr’l NE¼ of Section 2, Township 94 North, Range 15 West, Riverton Township, Floyd County, Iowa, from AG to R-1, was made by Duane Koch and seconded by Susan Nelson. Roll call vote was taken and the motion was unanimously approved.
B. Discussion was had concerning the proposed Rules of Procedure. More discussion was had concerning Communication with County Attorney provision and County Attorney Klemesrud stated that he would prefer the communications come from the Commission as a whole so he is not put in a position where he is responding to one individual without knowing all of the facts. It was determined that County Attorney Norm Klemesrud will work with Assistant Day in revising the Rules of Procedure and said Rules shall be tabled until such revisions have been made.
VII. Other Business. New Commission Member Tami Vetter was introduced to the Commission. Discussion was had concerning the preparation of documents and issues with the numerous amount of comments and emails generated each time Administrator Sherman or Assistant Day ask for the Commission’s opinion. Discussion moved into direct contact with the County Attorney and an opinion generated by County Attorney Norm Klemesrud. County Attorney Klemesrud stated that he encouraged communication from the Commission to occur through the Administrator, however, he does not believe he has the authority to say that a Commission member can not come to him with a question or an issue. What he needs to be careful with is whether the issue being presented to him involves a disagreement within the Commission. County Attorney Klemesrud stated that it is a whole lot cleaner and he would prefer to have communications directed through the Administrator, but he can not limit any of the Commission member’s ability to communicate with him directly. Discussion was had concerning day to day operations. Discussion was had regarding open records law in relation to emails. County Attorney Klemesrud gave the opinion that if you make a written communication in your capacity as a member of the Commission, it probably can be obtained under the Open Records Law, but that is just something the Commission needs to be careful with.
VIII. Commission Comments. No additional Commission comments.
IX. Staff Comments. No additional Staff comments.
X. Adjournment. Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Dean Tjaden and seconded by Susan Nelson.
Jeff D. Sherman