Howard Lake Herald, March 30, 1998

Land use meeting for Victor Township set

The Victor Township Board and Victor Township Land Use Plan Committee will sponsor an informational meeting to review proposed amendments to the Wright County Land Use Plan for Victor Township, Tuesday, April 7, at 8 p.m. in the Victor Township Hall.

The public is invited to review the proposed changes and discuss related issues with the committee and staff from the Wright County Office of Planning and Zoning. No changes in the county zoning ordinance are proposed, but a limited area of the Victor Township land use plan map is proposed to be amended to allow for large lot development beyond agricultural densities.

The Wright County Land Use Plan was adopted in 1988 to serve as a guide for the growth and development of the unincorporated (township) areas of Wright County. The plan contains varied background information on the entire county, land use plan maps for each township, and a compilation of county policies on agricultural preservation, development, environmental protection and other related topics.

In very general terms, the land use plan expresses county policy that most growth in the county should occur in and out from existing cities, while the agricultural and rural areas maintain very low residential densities. Particularly in an area of excellent soils and active farms such as Victor, the prevention of conflicts between farming activities and residential growth is an important goal of the plan.

Except for limited areas around Lakes Mary and Ann and the city of Howard Lake, the current land use plan map for Victor Township designates the entire township as an agricultural area. This does not mean that the entire township is under plow, but rather that the nature of the community is agricultural, and the services provided by township government will be those appropriate to an agricultural community rather than a residential one.

The Victor Township Board is still committed to agricultural preservation, and maintaining the rural nature of Victor Township. However, at the 1997 annual meeting, the township passed a motion to review the land use plan, to see if there may be some areas of the township which are suited to limited residential growth.

A public information meeting was held June 24, 1997 in the Victor Town Hall to review the current land use plan, Wright County policies and issues facing the township, and to determine if a committee should be appointed to consider amending the plan.

Subsequent to that meeting, the town board appointed a committee consisting of: Ozzie Arlien, Sean Groos, Tom Hammer, Randy Heuer, Bob Schermann, Mike Thoennes, and Burton Horsch representing the town board. The committee has met monthly since then to review county policy, discuss agricultural and development issues facing the township, and to recommend if any changes should be made to the county land use plan for Victor Township. Representatives of both Howard Lake and Winsted also met with the committee to review the future plans of the two cities.

The results of these studies and the proposed amendments to the plan will be distributed and reviewed at the informational meeting on April 7. All are welcome to attend. After this meeting, the committee will finalize its recommendations to the town board.

The town board will then decide if they should accept the recommendations and forward them to the county planning commission for a public hearing. Ultimately, any changes to the land use plan must be approved and formally adopted by the Wright County Board of Commissioners.

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