Nov. 20, 2006

Franklin Township board denies request for personal airstrip

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

Too small of a lot, too close to a road, and neighbor opposition are several of the reasons Franklin Township Board denied a request last Monday by Paul Stannard to operate a personal airstrip off of 102nd Street.

Stannard is considering the purchase of property on 102nd Street, and asked the board for a conditional use permit for a personal airstrip for his two-seat airplane. He told the board the airstrip would be for his personal use, and would be operated within regulations.

Board Member Al Steinbach asked about the frequency of flights that would be made. Stannard said the frequency varies with the weather, and flights could range from three days a week to parked for several weeks at a time.

Other concerns addressed by the board included wetlands, the lot size being too small (12.23 acres), being too close to 102nd Street, and the proposed runway starting or ending too close to neighbor’s homes, which brings up concerns of both safety issues and property value.

Steinbach said a four-lot plat is located less than a mile southwest of the proposed runway site, and that there have been six nearby property owners and neighbors who have voiced opposition to the plan.

Further discussion took place regarding the angle of the airstrip, along with landing/take-off room needed.

It was decided that since there was a lot of opposition to the plan, the board felt it had a duty to represent the people in the township, and deny the plan. Stannard said he would contact Wright County to cancel an on-site meeting that had been previously scheduled.

Escrow account discussed by township board again

Robert Bauman of White Birch Acres planned unit development was present at the board meeting to discuss the escrow account and signed developer’s agreement.

Bauman questioned the amount for township administrative purposes, and he was told he could go to the clerk’s office to review bills.

It was also noted that attorney Peter Neaton had drawn up the document for a temporary easement that was requested by the township board. Bauman needs to have the document signed, notarized, and recorded, and return it to the board, which he said he will do.

Further discussion, but no decisions, took place again about temporary roads. Neaton said a three-way agreement with the Baumans, the lot owner, and the township, could be drawn up. Bauman agreed, and Neaton will proceed with the arrangement.

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