Public hearings bring out some concerns for requests

Concerns from residents of some requests were brought out during several joint public hearings with the Little Falls City Council and Planning Commission.

While no one spoke out about the request by Mike Roach to donate to the city and move the house at 21-1/2 First Avenue SE to 612 Florence Avenue, the city did receive two letters protesting the move. One from Tom and Kathy Brack stated there were “declining conditions in the little area,” and that “the spector of another house being brought in, with all of the inherent construction/moving/traffic mess and congestion that it will bring, is anything but appealing.”

Alfred Gross wrote, “I see no reason for putting that little house there. Rather than do that, get the street improved and blacktopped.”

The plan of the HRA is to move the house to the lot it owns on Florence Avenue, give it a full basement and remodel it.

No comments were made, either for or against, the requests by Oothoudt Enterprises, Inc. One request is to construct a store/ mall on the vacant lot north of Perkins that is 30 feet closer to the rear lot line (US Highway 10 ramp) than currently allowed (40 feet). The second request is for a variance to install a 63.5 foot sign. City code allows signs to be just 25 feet. As was pointed out, with other variances approved, businesses such as Perkins, McDonalds and Country Inn and Suites have signs the size of that requested.

Jody Gottwalt was on hand to request approval of the final plat for the Hidden Oaks Addition. Several residents in attendance expresed concern with the plat. They included Little Falls Township Supervisor Dave Becker who spoke of the concern that the development will pollute Anderson Lake. Bernie Rekstad, a resident of the area, expressed his concern of the amount of drainage that would be headed for the pond.

Elvin Erickson, the city’s building inspector, assured the two that a storm drainage plan would have to be approved for the plat.

Lt. Col. Richard Weaver, commander at Camp Ripley, along with Marty Skoglund, were on hand to request the city’s support for a land-use plan for the land near and adjacent to Camp. “We don’t have a lot of problems with encroachment now,” said Weaver, “and we’d like to keep it that way.”

The hearing for the plat of the Cornerstone property was cancelled because the owner, Shelly Johnson, notified the city that the property had been sold.

Following the hearings, the council turned the requests over to the Planning Commission, with the request that the members report back with recommendations.

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