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City to look into car sales at Exchange parking lot

The Crosslake City Council discussed car sales at the Exchange Bar and Grill parking lot on County Road 66 in Crosslake during its regular meeting Monday night, Sept. 9.

Community development director Ken Anderson approached the council on behalf of the planning and zoning commission to see what direction the council would like the commission to take regarding the issue.

The Exchange Bar and Grill burned down in 2008. Today, cars, boats, RVs and more are parked at the lot and marked with “for sale” signs. Anderson remarked that 12-20 vehicles or recreation items are parked there at any given time.

The city has standards for a used car lot, but those standards are for a business. The council was unaware whether the owner of the lot is making money off the car sales taking place there.

“These standards have to do with a business,” council member Mark Wessels said. “These are people parking their private vehicle on property. I know two or three people who have vehicles there who don’t have a contract with the property owner.”

“It would make sense for the commission to look into that,” mayor Darrell Schneider said.

Council member John Moengen said he was under the impression the property owner must be benefitting financially from the sales.

“I can’t imagine it’s a free for all,” Moengen said.

Wessels pointed out that he’s seen numerous businesses with items for sale set outside, and questioned how far regulation of the situation should go.

“Do we want a CUP (conditional use permit) process, licensing process to do that? How far do you want to go with this?” Wessels said.

Council consensus was to direct the planning and zoning commission to explore the situation.