Twp. board, planning commission to consider request for impound/auction lot

May 5, 2008

Several neighbors unhappy with plan

By Ryan Gueningsman
Managing Editor

A proposal for an impound/vehicle auction lot in Franklin Township near the northern edge of Delano will be reviewed by the Franklin Township Board Monday night and the Wright County Planning Commission Thursday night.

Jay Hickman of Hickman Auto is interested in purchasing two adjoining township parcels of land from Arlene Litfin, located near the intersection of Wright County Road 17 and Farmington Avenue, said Franklin Township Clerk Geri Hagelin. One parcel is about 30 acres, and the other is about six acres, and they are located northwest of the city’s wastewater treatment facility.

“He wants to rezone from ag to industrial so he can turn the old gravel pit into an auction lot,” Hagelin said.

Hickman said he is hoping to have a secure impound lot for vehicles that have been in traffic accidents.

“The other angle to it would be for an auto auction lot,” Hickman said. “Auctions would be by sealed bids – no live auctions.”

Auctions would be for “members only,” and Hickman said there would be a minimal amount of traffic or activity at the location.

Hickman said he has seen a need for this service, and said he has been speaking with Wright County Planning and Zoning, which expressed a need for an impound lot.

He said it would be screened from the roadway, and would be limited visibility for neighbors. The business would be open regular hours.

Hagelin said when neighbors hear the word auction, they think of a lot of noise and people, and said they’re not necessarily in favor of what they know about the proposal.

“There is going to be a group of people there against this,” Hagelin said, noting there is a spot on the agenda to discuss the proposal. “If they have a concern, this is the time to bring it up.”

Hickman said he has a purchase agreement with Litfin, contingent upon the zoning change being approved.

“I really don’t want to upset anybody,” Hickman said. “I don’t want to make neighbors unhappy, but as far as land usage, they’ve been trying to get that mess cleaned up for years and years . . . this would clean up the mess that’s there and utilize that land.”

Two meetings this week for proposal

Jay Hickman’s proposed rezoning of land in Franklin Township to create an impound/auction lot will be discussed twice this week.

The first time will be tonight (Monday, May 5) at the Franklin Township Board meeting at 7 p.m. at the Franklin Town Hall.

The second meeting will be at the Wright County Planning Commission Thursday, May 8 at 8 p.m. in the county commissioner’s board room.

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