County opens door to new school building; Board approves a variety of rezoning and permits

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Mower County Board actions on Tuesday make possible a new school building in Windom Township, a place to sell cars in Red Rock Township, a vacation rental in Frankfort Township and new development options for Lansing Township.

Commissioners voted unanimously for each rezoning or conditional use permit request.

Property at the intersection of Interstate 90 and Highway 56 in Windom Township is now entirely zoned agricultural so the Southern Minnesota Special Education Consortium can construct a new school and administrative offices.

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“It puts us in a place where we can meet the needs of all of our districts,” said consortium director Dan Armagost.

The consortium serves the school districts of Alden-Conger, Glenville-Emmons, Grand Meadow, Kingsland, LeRoy-Ostrander, Lyle and Southland, according to its website. Its programs include services for students dealing with a wide range of disabilities and special needs.

Armagost said the location will open new options for its students and he expects costs savings because of its central location among its school districts.

“When you look at our continuum of services, we are missing a level 4 program,” he said. “A level 4 program is basically a program set up off site, away from the general school population. It’s done that way because of the needs of the students. It could  be the student’s mental health needs. It could be that the student’s behaviors are disruptive enough that the other part of the population can’t be educated (in the same space).”

He said the consortium is also starting an alternative learning center.

Vehicle sales

A conditional use permit was needed by landowner Mark Hollerud to sell a limited number of vehicles from his Red Rock Township property. Among the conditions for the permit are requirements for handling and storing motor vehicle waste, parking and parts storage. Commissioner Mike Ankeny said Hollerude intends to park some vehicles on his property to sell, he is not constructing a dealership facility.

Vacation rental

The conditional use permit for WLV Enterprises, LLC, is for establishing vacation rental property in section 5 of Frankford Township near Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery. Shawn Vogt Sween is the applicant and landowner.

“We needed something like that in this area,” Commissioner Polly Glynn said. The winery, which is east of Grand Meadow in Spring Valley, is also an event center and the rental can work in concert with it.

The permit includes nine conditions, including some related to parking, signage and keeping the property in orderly condition.

Lansing Township

By switching a collection of parcels in Lansing Township from rural management to rural service center zoning at the request of all but one of the property owners, the board opens the community to more development possibilities, according to county documents and the board discussion.

“The Rural Service Center District is intended to accommodate existing and new limited commercial, industrial  and residential development of the county’s established, unincorporated rural town sites/centers,” says the report to the board from Angie Lipelt. “These areas may be appropriate for additional residential development on smaller lots as well as commercial establishments that serve the local market.

“However, these areas should remain relatively small and low-density so that they do not require public sewer service or county road improvements beyond normal maintenance.”

The board also approved rezoning parts of property owned by Michael J. and Shirley D. Adams,  in Dexter Township so the zoning is aligned with the parcel boundaries. That meant changing a few acres of land from agricultural zoning to freeway interchange management zoning.