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Council discusses whether or not to vacate portion of road

The Crosslake City Council held a public hearing Monday, Oct. 28, to discuss whether to vacate a portion of road as requested by citizens.

The piece of road in question was a 33-foot by 179-foot stretch of Silver Peak Road that serves as a driveway to the two properties requesting the city vacate the land.

The matter raised the larger issue of whether the council’s policy is to vacate roads.

Council member John Moengen, liaison to the public works committee, said the committee wasn’t in favor of vacating the road because it was worried about the precedent the city might set by doing so.

Stonemark Land Surveyor Patrick Trottier, representing June Wallace, one of the landowners in question, said if the city vacated the road it would allow Wallace to meet setback requirements and build a garage on her property.

Were the road vacated, Trottier said, it would be divided between Wallace and the other property owners petitioning to have the road vacated, Richard and Rebecca Sandrok.

The council expressed concern over vacating the road, including access issues to one of Wallace’s two adjoining properties. The council also wondered whether the road could ever be extended to connect with Milinda Shores Road. Currently both Milinda Shores and Silver Peak roads dead end.

Trottier said if the two regions were to ever be connected, it would be via Jason Lane, another road near Silver Peak Road. Currently a gated private road is already present that connects Milinda Shores with Jason Lane.

Public Works Director Ted Strand agreed the connectivity would be via Jason Lane, not Silver Peak Road, if it ever occurred.

Council member Mark Wessels suggested that if the point of vacating the road was for Wallace to build a garage, perhaps the city could look into granting Wallace a variance to build the garage.

Wessels said that many years ago, the council decided not to vacate roads because of the resulting loss of green space.

The council decided unanimously to table the matter until the next meeting in order to talk to landowners and gather more information.

In other business Monday, Oct. 28, the council:

• Reminded the public of a presentation by author Jack Schulz titled “Boomtown” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 7, at city hall. The presentation will discuss the keys to small town success.

• Approved purchase of a new Ford Police Interceptor police car.

• Heard an update from contracting city administrator Dan Vogt on negotiations with former city planning and zoning staff members Ken Anderson and Bryan Hargrave. Vogt said he had met with Anderson along with the city’s labor attorney but did not yet have a proposal to bring forward. He planned to bring something to the council in the near future. Vogt said he had not yet met with Hargrave or discussed anything with Hargrave’s union.

• Approved minutes from an Oct. 24 meeting in which the only matter of business was to appoint Joel Knippel to the planning and zoning commission.