September 24, 2007

Meeker County concerned about driveways in Whispering Pines, Dassel

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

The Meeker County Board of Commissioners approved a preliminary plat Tuesday for a housing development in Dassel Township. Commissioners also decided not to approve the final plat unless the developer cooperates with the county regarding the driveways.

Whispering Pines is a four-lot development at 735th Avenue, next to Spring Lake, Dassel. Paul Huseby of Dassel is the property owner.

“The lots are very narrow at the township road side of the plat,” said County Highway Engineer Ron Mortensen in his review of the project to the county planning and zoning office.

“Access to Lot 1 and 2 must be carefully considered because of the elevations of the township road and the impacts to the ditch that crosses the lots,” Mortensen said.

County Commissioner Amy Wilde added that there are many children and other driveways in the neighborhood also.

Mortensen suggested two options: First, the existing driveway can be used for Lots 2 and 3. A new single driveway at the east edge of Lot 1 can be considered. Second, the existing driveway can be used for Lot 3 and have a new combined driveway for Lots 1 and 2.

Wilde said in another development in Dassel Township, the county made stipulations for the driveways, and the developer ignored them. This time, she wanted Huseby to know the final plat will not be approved unless the highway engineer’s specifications are met, she said.

Odds and ends

In other business, the county board:

• granted a conditional use permit to John Perry to stabilize the bank of the shore land on his property at 27747 742nd Ave., Dassel.

• hired Wold Architects and Engineers of St. Paul to arrange for re-roofing the food shelf building in Litchfield. The project is estimated to cost a total of $73,500. Half of the 7,000-square foot building’s roof leaks. The other half is too flat to drain, and water pools on it. Wold’s architectural fee will be 7.5 percent or $5,500.

• promoted Deputy Don Schmidt to the Gang Strike Task Force, starting Monday, Oct. 1. He will replace Ben Aho, who took a job with the Litchfield Police Department.

• sent a resolution to Gov. Tim Pawlenty requesting a special session of the legislature for transportation investments.

• approved having the county pay for a $100-a-foot culvert in the Robert Hansen driveway for County Ditch 20 in Forest Prairie Township. Afterward, the board changed the ditch regulations so the county will no longer be responsible for paying for culverts in private driveways.

• formed a partnership with the Middle Fork of the Crow River watershed organization to clean out and restore the banks of County Ditch 47 in the northwest corner of the county.

The watershed organization will pay 75 percent of restoring the banks of the ditch with a $10,000 grant. Dead trees fell into the ditch and blocked it. The stream cut a new channel 30 feet into the land, belonging to Joe Flanders, next to the ditch to get around the blocked area.

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