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Brainerd City Council: Council advised by city attorney to not discuss Imgrund CUP withdrawal

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news Brainerd, 56401

Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

On the agenda for Monday night’s regular Brainerd City Council meeting, Council President Mary Koep stated that council was advised by Brainerd City Attorney Tom Fitzpatrick to not discuss Justin Imgrund’s withdrawal of the conditional use permit and application.

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Imgrund withdrew his application for a conditional use permit to locate Imgrund Motors at Northwest Second and Washington streets in Brainerd on Sept. 26.

A process that has been ongoing since August, Imgrund’s application was granted a 60-day extension to allow more time for review at the Sept. 4 Brainerd City Council meeting and again tabled the issue of a decision on Imgrund’s application for a conditional use permit for an automotive sales and service business near the Tyrol Hills neighborhood during the Sept. 17 council meeting.

Imgrund originally applied for conditional use permits to put in an automotive sales and service business and for a variance for less green space than required for the undeveloped lot on Washington and Northwest Second streets, just west of the Mississippi River, during an Aug. 9 Brainerd planning and zoning commission meeting. The lot, near Ace Hardware, has been home to Balsam Lane’s Christmas tree sales each winter and abuts the Tyrol Hills residential area.

Residents of Tyrol Hills openly opposed Imgrund moving his business to the area during the Aug. 20 council meeting, with many voicing concern that the business will greatly affect the neighborhood through noise and lowering property value.

During the Aug. 20 meeting, following a lengthy open forum on the matter, council made a motion to postpone and readdress the permit. The motion was approved 5-2 with council members Bob Olson and Mary Koep voting no.

The 60-day extension from the Sept. 4 meeting was approved 6-1 with council member Kevin Goedker voting no.

Since the Sept. 4 council meeting, the Imgrund’s have met with Tyrol Hills residents to comply with city ordinance and were working with KLD to prepare a final site design to be presented at the Oct. 1 council meeting. During the Sept. 17 meeting, Imgrund requested extra time on a city decision to better prepare a site design presentation.

■ Other Council business:

Council unanimiously approved the proposed settlement with Tom’s Backhoe Service, Inc., and a city payment of $22,122.35 as recommended by Fitzpatrick. The agreement releases the city from the lawsuit.

Heard from State Rep. John Ward, DFL – Brainerd made an appearance to speak during the public forum. Rep. Ward commented on the district re-zoning, his representation moving from District 12A to District 10A as of Jan. 1, 2013 and added that he will be hosting an aquatic invasive species forum on Oct. 17. The forum, running from 6:30-8 p.m. at Ideal Township Town Hall, will include representatives from the Department of Natural Resources and a local panel.

“It’s so important, especially in our area that thrives on tourism, to get ahead of these invasive species,” said Rep. Ward.

Koep suggested that council members investigate and consider forming some type of business review board to help bring employment and business to the area. The council added it for discussion to the next meeting’s agenda.

Call for applicants for the following positions:

• Cable TV advisory committee, one term, to expire Dec. 31, 2012.

• Economic development authority, one term, to expire Sept. 7, 2013.

• Transportation committee, two terms to expire Dec. 31, 2013.

• Library board, one term, to expire Dec. 31, 2013.

JESSI PIERCE, staff writer, may be reached at 855-5859 or jessi.pierce@brainerddispatch.com. Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jessi_pierce (@jessi_pierce).

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