Baxter City Council: City empowers administrators to make line lot changes, with caveats
BAXTER -- Members of the Baxter City Council voted to tweak the city’s subdivision ordinances, granting city staffers more leeway to judge and establish property lot lines with a certificate of survey, thereby avoiding issues of encroachment that may be hashed out in court.
The resolution empowers administrators to approve or reject lot line adjustments. During discussions Tuesday, July 16, it was noted these judgments would have to be certified by a professional survey so as to ensure property demarcation falls in line with zoning ordinances and other land statutes.
Council member Mark Cross said the statute language has to explicitly require a survey -- not just a legal survey, but a physical examination of property by a licensed surveyor. If the issue is encroachment, he noted, it stands to reason the line likely has to be established in an accurate, certified manner by a professional.
Costs attached to hiring surveyors came up as a point of concern, but as City Attorney Brad Person noted, it’s in the city’s interest to pay for short-term regulatory expenses rather than court-mandated fees.
“It’s expensive and it puts more burden on Josh (Doty), because the neighbors are always going to say they don't need a survey,” Person said of the city’s community development director. “It’s nicer to have a survey. It’s not as easy for staff to confirm … Yes, a survey is expensive, but a court order is going to cost three or four grand. It’s expensive, but it’s a lot cheaper than taking it up in court, which is what you’ve got now.”
Doty -- who would sign off on these judgments -- said the issue of disputed lot line adjustments arose at multiple points in recent years, prompting city staff to propose the ordinance change that would streamline the process and hopefully enable the city to avoid these problems in the future.
In other business, the council:
Approved an agreement for the construction and maintenance of stormwater facilities with Pampered Pets LLC at 8301 Industrial Park; Dayton Hudson Corp. T659 and Avalanche Properties LLC for lot 2, block 1 of Edgewood Commercial Park; and White Oak Estates at the corner of Grand Oakes and Firewood drives.
Approved an agreement for the construction and installation of water, sanitary sewer and stormwater lines with White Oak Estates of Baxter Limited Partnership on the corner of Grand Oakes and Firewood drives.
Approved partial pay estimates in the amount of $99,997.85, $2,850, and $67,409.15 to KLM Engineering Inc. for the 2018 north water tower rehabilitation improvement project. In addition, the council approved partial pay estimates for $8,398 to GM Contracting Inc. and $438,887 to Landwehr Construction Inc. for the project. Plus, the council approved separate pay estimates of $157,768.53 and $78,160.03, as well as an $800,000 lifetime maintenance payment to BNSF for the construction and upkeep of railroad crossings, all involved in the 2018 Cypress Drive improvements project.
Approved a partial pay estimate in the amount of $10,070.88 to Anderson Brothers Construction Co. for the 2018 mill and overlay and full depth reclamation improvements project.
Approved a change order to Knife River Corp.-North Central decreasing the contract value from $3,351,054 to $2,900,537.70 for the 2019 mill and overlay and full depth reclamation improvements project.
Approved a partial pay estimate to Knife River Corp.-North Central in the amount of $69,286.45 for the 2019 mill and overlay and full depth reclamation improvements project.
Approved a partial pay estimate in the amount of $150,120 to Holden Electric Co. for the 2019 water treatment generator improvements project.
Approved a proposal for generator power systems and general maintenance for sanitary sewer station No. 2 in the amount of $465.
Accepted a $500 donation from the Baxter Lions for the 2019 Night to Unite event.
Approved a temporary liquor license for the Elk Grand Lodge special event to take place Aug. 31 at the Northland Arboretum.
Approved a conditional use permit for grading and filing a shoreland overlay at 14356 Memorywood Drive. Owner Scott Imgrund requested permission to install a riprap erosion barrier, as the shoreline on White Sand Lake has been severely eroded by high water. The barrier is intended to prevent further erosion.
Approved a variance to allow off-site signage for the Northland Arboretum on property at the northeast corner of Excelsior Road and Conservation Drive. In addition, the council approved the land lease for Northland Arboretum for an easement that would contain the sign.