The Crow Wing County Commissioners are required by Minnesota law to follow the present conditions in the county ordinance. What many people fail to understand is that zoning decisions cannot be based on personal opinion or group/neighborhood desires at one point in time for good reason. The Hideaway Bay development met all of those conditions outlined in the ordinance. If lakeshore owners, neighbors, township boards, lake associations wish to seek change, the mechanisms to do so are available. Run for office, volunteer, be a proactive advocate for zoning changes, or create your own planning commissions like is done in Crow Wing Township and the city of Nisswa to localize governmental power or campaign for those that agree with you come election time. But a word of caution — restrictive zoning ordinances may look great now but as Commissioner Koering stated, private property rights are one of the most important features of our republic, tread lightly. Democracy ultimately belongs to those who show up.

With these types of lakeshore developments a group of people tend to get worked up fueled largely by misinformation and needless hyperbole. Our family-owned resort business was recently in the same situation this year in our own lakeshore development, being attacked in all manner of ways from actual threats of physical violence requiring multiple sheriff calls to false statements on social media vis-a-vis local neighbors, township and lake association/LID board members. Many logged erroneous complaints to county staff and submitted letters to the county during our application phase. Our development ultimately passed unanimously by both the Planning and Zoning Board and the county commissioners because it met the conditions outlined by the county ordinance but certainly not without an amount of frustration and disgust with the process. Facts should still matter.

Josh Young


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