Weather Forecast


City requests input on land use ordinance revisions

Beginning Monday, Dec. 16, a public comment period will open for revisions made to the Crosslake land use ordinance. The Crosslake City Council decided Monday, Dec. 9, that it will hold two open houses for public comment on Jan. 6 and 13 at 6 p.m. The public comment period will close Jan. 31. On Feb. 28, a public hearing will be held during the city’s planning and zoning commission meeting.

The council hired consultant John Sumption in October to review the city’s land use ordinance. He continues revisions but the city will have a draft by Dec. 16 that will be used for the public comment period. It will be available online at the city’s website,, and paper copies will be available at city hall.

Before the council approved the public comment period Dec. 9, it amended the original resolution it made in October to hire Sumption. That resolution had said that the city would hire Sumption to “review and revise the City of Crosslake Shoreland Ordinance,” however, the city does not technically have a shoreland ordinance; it has a land use ordinance.

The council amended the resolution to say “land use ordinance” instead of “shoreland ordinance,” but council member Steve Roe took issue with the error.

“I thought we were getting a shoreland ordinance but we’re getting a whole land use revision,” Roe said, pointing out that land use ordinance includes rules on signage and other land use. Nonetheless, he agreed work on those ordinances is needed.

Council member Mark Wessels said that while Crosslake doesn’t technically have a shoreland ordinance, its rules must follow Minnesota state statute, which does include a shoreland ordinance.

The city is asking residents and other concerned individuals and groups to send any comments regarding the land use ordinance revisions to the Crow Wing County Land Services Department, which manages Crosslake’s planning and zoning department.

Comments can be emailed to or mailed to 322 Laurel St., Suite 14, Brainerd, MN 56401. Written comments can also be dropped off at Crosslake City Hall, located at 37028 County Road 66. Call 218-692-2689 with questions.

The council heard Dec. 9 that Sumption has reduced the size of the city’s land use ordinance from 339 pages to 152. In a memo to the council, Chris Pence, Land Services supervisor for Crow Wing County and Crosslake, said the revision not only includes pertinent shoreland regulations but also revisions to the septic system ordinance and floodplain ordinance.

Pence said in a news release that the format of the ordinance has been rearranged to be more readable and understandable. A land use table has been created for land use districts and another for lot size, setbacks, impervious surface coverage and more.

Sumption has said he’s added a table of contents. Definitions, which had been spread throughout the document, were consolidated to one location in the ordinance.

Performance standards have been consolidated into sections rather than spread throughout the document. The revisions include standards for storm water management, dirt moving standards, impervious surface requirements and more.

As part of the revisions, Crosslake will adopt the Crow Wing County septic system ordinance, which it would have been required to do by 2015. Revisions also bring the city into compliance with state statute regarding land use.

Zoning districts have also been updated as part of the ordinance revisions. The council accepted a change Dec. 9 to bring the number of zoning districts from 16 to seven. A shoreland zoning district was added, which includes all land within 1,000 feet of a lake and 300 feet of a stream. Zoning districts are now called land use districts.

Ordinance changes to the city’s land use have not yet been accepted and the revisions are still considered a working document.

The city council tentatively plans to review and could accept the new ordinance March 10; however, that action could be postponed if the council decides it needs more time.