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Proposed planning ordinance is similar to county's

Around a dozen residents convened on Crosslake City Hall Monday night, Jan. 13, for an open house regarding the proposed Crosslake planning and zoning ordinance.

The city hired a consultant to rewrite its ordinance, which is now in draft form. The council approved a comment period and two open houses, the second of which was Jan. 13, for citizens and stakeholders to review the proposed ordinance.

Chris Pence is Crow Wing County Land Services Supervisor. Land services administers planning and zoning services to Crosslake.

“Based on the subcommittee that worked with the county, I think the goal was to try and align the ordinance as close to the county ordinance as possible. The goal was also to make the ordinance more readable and understandable for ease of use by citizens, contractors and our customers,” Pence said in a phone interview.

One benefit of aligning the ordinance with the county’s, Pence said, is uniformity amongst properties on the Whitefish Chain. Because many townships and cities border the chain, different areas follow different regulations.

The proposed ordinance also brings the city up to speed with current state statute and DNR regulations.

Pence said the main difference between the county’s planning ordinance and the proposed Crosslake ordinance is rules regarding commercial areas—townships in the county don’t have the same level of commercial activity. Much of Crosslake’s current commercial ordinances are also in the proposed ordinance.

So far, Pence said the department had received around 60 comments from seven different people.

He stressed that though the formal comment period ends Jan. 31, the public can still submit comments about the proposed document right up until it’s approved by the city council.

The city’s planning and zoning commission will review the document and possibly approve it at its Feb. 28 meeting. That meeting includes a public hearing where citizens can comment on the document. If it passes, the proposed ordinance will meet the council at the March 10 meeting.

At the Jan. 13 open house, residents commented on such issues as setbacks, ordinary high water levels and garage sale regulations. Pence indicated that changes are being made to the document, including some areas that were changed or left out of the proposed ordinance that are being put back in, like the garage sale regulations, regulations on towers and rules regarding directional signs.

Pence and other planning and zoning staff have compiled a document listing major changes in the proposed ordinance, which can be found on the city’s website:

Both the current and proposed ordinances are also available on the website or at city hall. Comments can be submitted in writing at city hall, by mail to 322 Laurel Street, Suite 14, Brainerd, MN, 56401, or by email to

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