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East Gull Lake city Council discusses conditional use permits

In their regular meeting June 4, the East Gull Lake City Council reviewed a request by Kevin and Vicki Smith for a conditional use permit and variance permit for development on their property in order to make it a year round residence. The council also heard a request by Steven and Karen Hegedus for a conditional use permit.

The Smiths were proposing to tear down an existing garage on the property and construct a new double garage. To do so, the elevation of the garage’s current location would need to be lowered, and some of the property would need to be filled in. The plans for the new garage development would still meet all requirements for impervious surface and setbacks.

The council approved a plan made by the planning commission for development.

The council also reviewed a permit application from the Hegeduses. Represented by contractor Matt Davis, they were proposing cutting a ridge by the lake by two or three feet, and using that dirt to fill in a 100-foot area behind the ridge. This development would be done to prepare the property for building a residence. It had been suggested to the contractors to leave the ridge, and fill in behind the ridge using dirt from off site. This was suggested to reduce water run-off into the lake. If the ridge is not changed, that same water will run into a flat land area instead of the lake.

The city approved the conditional use permit dependent on certain findings and conditions. Conditions included: property improvement to prevent erosion and restore the property to a more natural configuration and appearance and prevention of storm water running into neighboring properties or the lake, among others.

During the commissioner’s meeting where this was originally introduced, Davis said he would not be able to accept the conditions given by the city without consulting with his clients. Davis also said that cutting down the ridge on the property would likely not create water runoff problems, but the planning commission disagreed.

Council member Rob Mason motioned to support the conditions set by the Planning Commission. The motion died due to lack of a second. Councilor James Ruttger motioned to table the decision to give council members and planning commission members the opportunity to meet at the building site and see the property. Dennis Lang seconded the motion. Mason voted Nay.

In other business, the city:

• Learned that following exposure to H1N1, East Gull Lake First Responders were required to have hospital tests done. They were then expected to pay for the tests personally, but refused to pay under the understanding that the city would pay for it. Mayor Dave Kavanaugh said it was hard enough to get first response volunteers without added costs. Administrator Brenda Thomes contacted the league of Minnesota cities to check on insurance for first responders. She said the city’s policy would cover such costs under the volunteer aspect. Thomes agreed to look into the issue more.