Planning Commission discusses zoning ordinances

NEW ULM — Brown County Planning and Zoning Commissioners discussed proposed zoning ordinance updates and additions Tuesday.

Assistant Zoning Administrator Robert Santaella said the proposed updates and addition will only be discussed and brought back to the board in draft form in the fall or winter.

Santaella said Brown County is more restrictive than a number of neighboring counties.

Commissioner Dennis Potter said he would like to see information on how Brown County compares with neighboring counties regarding zoning ordinances.

“We’re seeing more people who just want to live in the country. I don’t think we should restrict them so they go to other counties,” Santaella said.

Several commissioners agreed.

The first proposal would remove language related to a five-year waiting period for a zoning permit of historically-farmed land.

Another proposal would remove language that no side yard shall be required for farmsteads.

Requiring 300 feet setbacks for 10 AU (animal units) or more was described as excessive by a number of people.

Other proposals discussed were:

• Revising language related to accessory building size limitations of 700 square feet for more than 1.5 acre of land with no central sewer, 900 square feet with a central sewer and 1,000 square feet on land equal to or greater than 1.5 acres.

• Accessory building requirements for all districts including no structure or use shall be constructed or developed on a lot prior to construction of the principal building.

• Adopting an interim use permit to allow the county to issue permit with sunset dates. Minnesota Statute 462.3595 Subd. 3 reads “a CUP (conditional use permit) shall remain in effect as long as the conditions agreed upon are observed. Nothing in this section shall prevent a municipality from enacting or amending official controls to change the status of the conditional uses.

•Adopting shore-land language on a Planned Unit of Development (PUD).

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.