County board approves permit for Lansing Corners

Published 10:17 am Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lansing Corners is officially back open for business, but in a new way.

The county board voted 4-0 to approve a conditional use permit Tuesday for Dave Olson, who bought the Lansing Corners property for $65,625 last June, to operate the former supper club as an event center.

The building will be mostly used for large events of more than 200 people, like weddings, reunions and graduation open houses. An upstairs room can host groups of roughly 40 people, as well. The event center has already been operating for a short time, according to Olson. County Coordinator Craig Oscarson said hosting events prior to Tuesday were allowed under the property’s old ordinance.

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“We’ve already hosted four events out there, and I think we’ve got another 12 or 15 on the books,” Olson said. “We’re going to start graduation season here pretty quick, and it seems like we’re getting some interest.”

Olson expressed some concern about the number of conditions, 19, the board approved as with the permit to regulate the use of the property.

“Nineteen conditions seems like we’re going to be handcuffed,” Olson said.

However, Commissioner Ray Tucker said most of the conditions are general or relate to the property being along Highway 218.

“I don’t see anything there that will be a hindrance,” Tucker said.

Olson was looking to keep his options open for the future if the event center isn’t profitable. He asked for a 20th condition: He’d like to use the property for storage or other purposes without paying for another permit in the future if the current conditional use permit expires because the property is someday not being used.

Rather than setting a precedent, Tucker made a motion to approve the permit without the stipulation, noting Olson could just come to the board to have the permit renewed or adjusted, and the board would likely waive the fee.

The next step for Olson is to attract more business for the event center. He said it’s approaching the busy season with weddings and graduation open houses.

“Our events have been successful,” Olson said. “We just need more of them. We’ve got to get the word out.”

To set up an event, contact Olson at 507-440-3816.

“There seems to be a lot of interest, and it seems to fill a need,” Olson said.

In other business:

—The board is looking to give ample time to property owners concerned about new commercial assessments.

The board is setting up multiple days for the county board of equalization, a meeting where property owners can challenge the value of their property.

More than a hundred people attended city board of equalization meetings recently throughout the county leading up to the county meeting.

—The county board may know more about the potential Human Services Redesign next month.

A group of counties in southeast Minnesota is studying ways to consolidate and regionalize some human services.

Commissioners Tony Bennett and Tim Gabrielson are slated to attend a meeting next Monday to learn more about funding options for the potential regional human services, and they could learn more about what counties are looking to move forward with the project.

“We’ll find out a lot more Monday,” Oscarson said.

While they’ll find out more details that will help shape their decision, Oscarson said board members don’t need to vote on whether to move forward until June.