Downsizing dominates zoning change requests for rural land sizes at Crow Wing County Board meeting

The County Board approved four requests to reduce the minimum size of properties by changing the zoning.

County staff members and board members sit at the board dias
Crow Wing County staff members, board members and elected officials sit behind the board dias during the Tuesday, May 9, 2023, meeting.
Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — Four land use amendments before the Crow Wing County Board had a similar theme in seeking to change zoning, allowing for smaller land sizes.

Requests to amend the land use maps and change the zoning included:

Going from a rural residential 20 acre zoning down to rural residential 10 acres involving 40 acres on Meadowview Road in Platte Lake Township. Adjacent land was zoned for rural residential 20 acres or for agriculture/forestry, with some coming in a shoreland district. In the findings of fact for the Planning Commission’s recommendation, it was noted there are similar land use districts to the south and there is a need for residential development. Jeff and Wendy Holder reported a desire to split a parcel allowing a family member to build a home.

Another request came from Norman Kroeger for property along County Highway 16 by Pequot Lakes. The request was to go from a rural residential zoning for 5 acres down to a rural residential zoning for 2.5 acres for 60 acres of land. The land has been in the family since the 1950s and the move was reported to split land evenly between siblings. Neighboring property had 2.5 acre and 5 acre zoning along with waterfront commercial. The Planning Commission again noted the comprehensive plan’s direction to encourage residential development that provides housing for various age and economic groups, particularly older residents, while protecting valued characteristics. The commission noted access would have to be via Wood Lane and Pine Terrace Road, not County Highway 16. There were concerns from neighboring property owners for the change that could mean 24 individual properties instead of the rural setting they have now at 5 acres.

Another request involved 34 acres as the petitioners sought to move from rural residential zoning for a minimum of 10 acres down to rural residential 2.5 acres off Five Mile Road in Oak Lawn Township. The petitioners, Beverly and Warren Morgan, noted splitting the property would provide land to kids in the staff report. Neighborhing properties were mostly at 10 acres with one at 5 acres. The Planning Commission saw the change from 10 acres to 2.5 acres a logical transition, again pointing to more housing.


But this vote was a change from the others and was not unanimous from the commission, coming in on a 3-2 vote.

Meeting on Tuesday, May 9, the County Board approved all the zoning changes. Chris Pence, environmental services manager, said the zoning changes were a way to avoid variances or an exception to the zoning ordinance for a specific property, which he described as a last option to consider when all other remedies are exhausted.

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In other business, the board:

Noted personnel changes with departures from county employment including: Kyle Wiese, correctional officer; Jordan Skadsem, patrol deputy; Jared Blom, correctional officer; Noah Karsnia, maintenance specialist; Gina Roach, legal assistant; Marcie Heldt, social worker. Promotions included: Emily Kelly, case aide, as of May 15; Nancy Malecha, finance director, as of May 27.

Authorized use of a Remote Electronic Alcohol Monitoring grant. Community Corrections submited a grant application to the Minnesota Department of Corrections. The grants are used to help indigent adults pay for alcohol monitoring ordered by the courts. The help is for adult impaired driving clients who are released from custody during pre-trial as a way to help those people get out of jail, maintain their employment and positively impact public safety. The grant will not exceed $10,000 with $5,000 in 2024 and $5,000 in 2025..

Supported an off-site gambling permit for Chop’s Inc. for June 3 at Merrifield Lions Park.

Authorized a grant agreement between the sheriff’s office and the state for supplemental funding for the added cost of boating safety patrol in the county from May 12 through Sept. 4.

Authorized a mutual aid agreement between the sheriff’s office and St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office to share equipment, personnel and other resources as needed.


Approved a requested determination of need change so Productive Alternatives can change the day service location from 213 NW Fourth St. to 1919 S. Sixth St. in Brainerd to expand day services in order to increase the number of people with disabilities who receive the services.

Awarded Anderson Brothers the Wise Road, Beaver Dam Road and Mill Aveune recondition contract of $3,785,707 — which was 1.07% under the engineer’s estimate.

Met in a closed session for labor negotiation strategy.

Renee Richardson, managing editor, may be reached at 218-855-5852 or Follow on Twitter @DispatchBizBuzz.

Renee Richardson is managing editor at the Brainerd Dispatch. She joined the Brainerd Dispatch in 1996 after earning her bachelor's degree in mass communications at St. Cloud State University.
Renee Richardson can be reached at or by calling 218-855-5852 or follow her on Twitter @dispatchbizbuzz or Facebook.
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