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Crosslake places moratorium on outdoor sales ordinance

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The Crosslake City Council voted at its July 14 meeting to place a nine-month moratorium on an article of the land use ordinance governing outdoor sales in the city, following a review indicating approximately 30 businesses would require a conditional use permit (CUP).

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The article, which requires any business practicing "outdoor sales, display and/or equipment rental" to obtain a CUP, carried over into the new ordinance without any changes to the language. A memo to the council from Crow Wing County Land Services Supervisor Chris Pence noted that despite the article existing for "many years" in Crosslake, it has not been effectively enforced.

"The current ordinance needs to be revised to clarify what constitutes outdoor sales and what type of requirement ... or performance standards would be required to allow outdoor sales," the memo reads.

The issue gained visibility when the planning and zoning department received a complaint related to outdoor sales at Reed's Market on County State Aid Highway (CSAH) 3. While assisting Reed's Market with obtaining a CUP, research showed around 30 other businesses were also not in compliance with the language in the ordinance.

Council Member Mark Wessels said when the ordinance was revised this spring, not enough time was spent examining the section affecting the commercial sector.

"We need to really get this going," he said.

Pence recommended the moratorium be set at nine months to give staff enough time to evaluate the next steps to make adjustments to the article.

The council also learned the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers granted the city of Crosslake an easement for the parking lot at the corner of CSAHs 3 and 66.

The easement agreement conveys "the necessary land rights to construct, install, operate, maintain, repair, remove, upgrade and/or replace" the parking lot. Council member John Moengen said the agreement looks similar to the agreement the corps once had with Crow Wing County, but the county no longer maintains the lot.

Moengen said the eventual goal is for the city to assume the fee title on the lot, but this is the first step.

The council discussed the easement at its June 9 meeting, where it noted the parking lot needs repairs. Public works director Ted Strand said the corps "would like to transfer ownership to (Crosslake)," but first wanted an agreement for maintenance of the lot, which serves as parking for Andy's Bar & Grill, Aunt Bea's Pantry and other businesses.

Permits

Pence said planning and zoning issued 52 permits in June, the same number as May. Staff received a total of 572 inquiries, most by phone, and conducted 17 septic system compliance inspections. One enforcement case was investigated and closed in June, representing the sixth closed case out of 11 total enforcement cases.

Public safety

Police chief Bob Hartman reported 195 total incidents in June, including four thefts, two property damage crashes, two fires and one traffic arrest. The department also participated in 22 agency assists, received calls on 22 alarms, 18 EMS calls and conducted 65 traffic warnings while handing out two traffic citations.

In Mission Township, the department issued six traffic citations and gave 23 warnings, also conducting one traffic arrest.

The Crosslake Fire Department reported 25 incidents in June, including 16 medical assists, two hazardous conditions without a fire, one mutual aid building fire and one swift water rescue.

North Ambulance in Crosslake responded to 68 total calls, 39 during the day and 29 at night. Of these calls, 47 resulted in the transfer of a patient.

In other business July 14, the council:

• Heard from Alden Hardwick of the PAL Foundation, who shared that trail rides in the Nordic Ridge Recreation Area are becoming popular and now require reservation ahead of time.

• Heard from Pat Netko and Cindy Myogeto on the success of this year's Fourth of July fireworks.

• Passed a resolution appointing election judges for the primary election Aug. 12.

• Accepted a $2,000 donation from Lakes State Bank to the Crosslake Fire Department for a Baxter disaster drill.

• Accepted the resignation of Gordon Siemers from the Advisory Board of Crosslake Communications.

• Approved a partial refund of a CUP fee to Mike Stone, owner of Crosswoods Golf Course, an issue that was tabled at the April 14 meeting. The refund request stemmed from an amendment Stone made to the CUP in December 2013.

• Accepted a plan to reconfigure and combine parcels located on Perkins Road and accepted land in lieu of park dedication fees. The council also agreed to cover part of the surveying fees for reconfiguring the parcels.

• Declared surplus equipment from the Public Works Department, including a double wide trailer home and a 1970s Lund Pro Pike boat with a motor and trailer.

• Noted openings available on the Public Works Commission.

• Accepted the resignation of Crosslake Communications network engineer Paul Davis.

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Chelsey Perkins
Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
(218) 855-5874
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