The Isanti County Board revisited its decision Feb. 17 to send an ordinance amendment back to the planning and zoning commission for clarification after a request from Zoning Administrator Trina Bergloff at its meeting March 3.

“At the last county board meeting we held a public hearing on some ordinance amendment language, and I think there was a misunderstanding on my end in regards to the language that the applicant proposed in the agriculture/residential district for a conditional use permit,” Bergloff explained. “They were requesting indoor storage for excavation contractor equipment in a fully enclosed building where the owner of property did not reside. I took that as, ‘OK, it’s not going to have a house with it.’ But, that really wasn’t the intent of the request.” 

Specific language in the ordinance amendment stated: 

#21. Indoor storage of excavation/contractor equipment in a fully enclosed building where the owner of the property does not reside.

a. The fee owner of the property must be the business owner and/or the principal operator of the business whose excavation equipment or contractor supplies are stored. 

b. No outdoor storage.

c. No single family dwelling on the property.

“Those three bullet items were just kind of reiterating the language, but at the last county board hearing, it was denied due to the fact that it kind of conflicts with the interim use permit process. I’m here today to request a new public hearing just for going directly to the county board and not having it go back to the planning commission,” Bergloff explained, noting zoning office staff, the applicant, and Assistant County Attorney Tim Nelson met and worked out new language to remove any language related to a dwelling or residential status of the property owner. 

The revised language of the ordinance amendment would remove “where the owner of the property does not reside” and “c. No single family dwelling on the property.”

“I’m comfortable with that language, I feel it’s more specific language than just an extended home occupation or interim use permit,” Bergloff stated.

The board approved scheduling a new public hearing for the ordinance amendment, which will take place April 21 at 9:45 a.m.

Small business and nonprofit relief grants

“So, this is kind of exciting,” said Isanti County Administrator Julia Lines, noting the county has approved $790,847 in small business and nonprofit relief grants ranging from $376 to $15,000. “This is money that came from the state for this last round of grants.”

The process was completed internally, she noted, thanking Isanti County Auditor Chad Struss and the finance team for their work. “It’s exciting to get these dollars out the door and to remain local here and be able to help these businesses to stay afloat at this time,” she added.

The board approved the awarded grants unanimously, with Isanti County Commissioner Terry Trunquist abstaining due to his business being a recipient of one of the grants. 

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