Permit requests approved

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, May 15, 2002

Two conditional use permit requests were approved Tuesday by the Mower County Board of Commissioners.

James Venzke received the county board's permission to construct a commercial mini-storage facility along Mower County No. 8 in Racine township.

Jon and Gretchen Olson and Lance and Snowell Pogones received the board's permission to develop Austin and Lansing townships' land into a residential subdivision.

Email newsletter signup

In both cases, the county planning commission had recommended approval of the CUP requests. However, when the requests came tot he county board a week ago, each was met with strong opposition. The commissioners elected to delay action and visit the sites.

That was accomplished last Friday and apparently influenced the commissioners' decisions at Tuesday's public hearings

Venzke, the petitioner, presented new evidence to the county commissioners, concerning water runoff, operating hours and a vegetative barrier between his proposed mini-storage facility and nearby homes.

Brian Johnson, who lives near the proposed site, again registered his opposition.

After a brief discussion, Ray Tucker, 2nd District county commissioner,

made the motion to grant Venzke a CUP.

Tucker said he based his motion on the findings of fact by county planning and zoning staff, which determined the request satisfied county zoning guidelines.

But Tucker added conditions to make the CUP more restrictive.

Hours of operation were limited to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday Venzke wanted a 24 hours a day, seven days a week permit.

Also Tucker added requirements for

a security gate, exterior illumination, vegetative barrier, signage along County No. 8 and security fencing among others

David Hillier, 3rd District, seconded Tucker's motion and it was approved by a 5-0 vote.

The preliminary plat CUP request had been billed as a "not in my backyard issue," when residents of Austin and Lansing township objected to the proposal.

The developer and owners want to build a 48 lot residential subdivision on 96 acres of land at the end of 112th Avenue Southwest near turtle Creek.

Residents of the area said the high density subdivision would destroy the character of the area and that two other residential subdivisions nearby have not been fully developed.

Franklin said additional conditions would be added to the CUP request after the commissioners' inspection of the site and information from the Turtle Creek Watershed Association and mower County Soil and Water Conservation district.

There was a brief discussion of the crop equalization ratings of the land in question, but Richard P. Cummings, 1st District, soon made the motion to grant the request.

Cummings' motion received a second from Hillier and it was approved by another 5-0 vote.

The CUP gives the owner/developer the county board's permission to develop a preliminary plat only.

The final plat's approval will still have to come before the county planning commission and county board.

The ambitious plans of the developers call for homes on 2-acre lots. They were described as homes in the "$250,000 or more" price range.