HJ/EDHerald Journal / Enterprise Dispatch, Nov. 7, 2005

Stockholm P&Z recommends against proposed rehab home

By Lynda Jensen

Following the advice of its attorney, the Stockholm Township planning and zoning board unaninously voted last Monday to recommend denial of a conditional use permit to New Beginnings for a proposed home for recovering drug addicts to be located halfway between Howard Lake and Cokato.

“It is not a permitted use in general agriculture (zoning),” commented township attorney William Goodrich. In fact, it presents a prohibited use, he said.

As the proposed home stands, it is similar to a boarding house by state definition; not a single-family residential unit or other exception in the township’s general agriculture zoning, and therefore, should not be approved for a permit, he said.

New Beginnings may appeal the recommendation, which will go before the regular township board 8 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14. The board will then make its official decision at that time.

The type of facility proposed closely resembled the state definition of a boarding house, Goodrich said.

If it fit the description of a single family unit, it would be possible to grant the permit, he said.

“I don’t believe that a single family is the sleepover facility proposed,” Goodrich said.

A boarding establishment requires a license, and the wording for the New Beginnings facility speaks to a commercial type property, he said.

The home for recovering addicts is not exempt from zoning laws, not licensed by the state, and therefore must need proper zoning, he said.

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