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Patios may now be larger in shoreland district

Homeowners in the shoreland district will now be able to build bigger patios.

Crow Wing County Board members voted Tuesday to increase the size from a maximum of 180 square feet to 250 square feet and allow up to 400 square feet with an approved stormwater management plan.

Chris Pence, land services supervisor in environmental services, said the change came after interaction with Crosslake's shoreland management regulations. The county took over the planning and zoning duties for Crosslake.

Pence said feedback was 180 square feet was too small and everyone agreed to go to 400 square feet needed to have the stormwater treated before it reached the lake.

Commissioner Paul Thiede said he was hearing with the experiment of handling the planning and zoning for the city also meant the county learned something from Crosslake.

Pence said the numbers were not being picked out of the air but were based on history.

There were a number of ordinance revisions the board approved. Pence said a number including plat design standards, ordinary high water/flood plain high water elevations, dirt moving and Minnesota Pollution Control Agency permit requirements were clarifications. Pence said clarifications were used to make the language more clear.

Erosion control best management practices are required as part of all shoreland district permits.

In terms of road construction, land services adopted the highway department's standards for road construction.

In another change 11 bodies of water listed as lakes by the county were found not to meet DNR rules for size and navigability so wetland rules apply. The water bodies would no longer be subject to the county's rural residential zoning.

The 11 lakes were in effect de-listed. That included Blue Lake and 10 other water bodies without names. Pence said the county had 550 lakes in its ordinance before and when reviewing those found some that were not the right size to be regulated, removing 11. The DNR agreed with the county's recommendation, Pence said.

In other business, the board:

Approved replacement staffing for a child support officer in community services. Noted Cheryl McKay, child support officer, left county employment, as did Laura Johnson, support enforcement aide. Melissa Polipnick was hired as a public health nurse.

Granted a perpetual and temporary highway/utility right-of-way easement to the highway department on tax-forfeited property in Fairfield Township and the city of Crosslake for the Highway 36 project. The county is planning to construct and improve Highway 36 from Highway 37 in Crosslake to County Road 114 in Fairfield Township in 2015.

Accepted $500 from Crow Wing Power and $200 from the Brainerd Lakes Chamber for the Crow Wing County Mounted Patrol.

Crow Wing County Board candidate Beth Pfingsten attended the board meeting.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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