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Stability seen in Cass County development

BACKUS — John Ringle, Cass County environmental services director, reported zoning permits issued in 2013 indicate new development in the county remains about level with 2012.

Indications so far in 2014 give an expectation of the same, he said.

The number of land use permits the county issued in 2013 during the first half of the year were lower than 2012, but higher the second half of the year. Net by year end showed a total of land use permits for new building construction and septic systems increased from 889 in 2012 to 913 in 2013. Ringle said he sees the weather as a main factor some of the numbers changed in land use permits between the two years, with 2012 having an unusually early spring and 2013 having an unusually late spring.

Location of higher numbers of land use permits continued patterns of recent years, with the 2013 highest numbers in the following towns:

Crooked Lake (by Outing), 15; Woodrow (by Hackensack), 13; Powers (by Backus), 12; and East Gull Lake and Sylvan (southern Cass), 10.

Shoreland alteration applications dropped significantly from 187 in 2012 to 138 in 2013. Variances declined slightly from 95 to 91. Conditional use applications increased slightly from 18 to 19.

There were three minor subdivisions of land in 2012 and four in 2013.

Only two new plats were filed each year.

Ringle and Marlen Harris, manager of the garbage and recycling center Stockman Transfer, which operates under contract with the county north of Pine River, reported to the board on efforts being made to improve monitoring of recycle bins available to the public throughout the county.

Harris said his staff has been picking up recycle bins and providing empty bins on Sundays when there are high tourist weekends in addition to week days. Besides having monitors assigned to notify them if bins fill between regularly scheduled pick-ups, he noted there are telephone numbers on bins anyone can call when the bins are full.