By Kristen Miller
DASSEL, MN Residents of Sellard’s addition expressed concerns to members of the Dassel City Council last Monday regarding survey stakes on their property.
Residents Todd Horrmann and Ann Moberg addressed the council regarding recently placed survey stakes that go through their property in the Sellard’s addition.
Though the property still lies within the township (it wasn’t annexed into the city), Horrmann’s property abuts the platted roadway, Sellard’s Avenue.
Sellard’s Avenue is currently a low-maintenance road and was platted to provide access to future developed properties, according to Dave Scepaniak, public works director.
There are currently no plans to have the road developed, but the survey was done to give an idea of where the road and its right of way lies, not only for the city’s information but also for the current neighboring residents, Scepaniak explained. It was also marked in response to an inquiry of a resident on Circle View Drive, Marylce Bjork, who expressed concerns at the July council meeting about there being limited access to the dead-end road.
Her concern is that, during an emergency situation, if Sellard’s Drive were to be blocked, emergency personnel would have a hard time accessing Circle View Drive (a dead-end road). Developing Sellard’s Avenue would allow a second point of access to Circle View if Sellard’s Drive (the main access to Circle View) was ever blocked.
The road was platted to accommodate the undeveloped lots, which have since been purchased by the current adjoining residents to extend their backyards, he noted.
If the lots were to be sold for residential development, a road could be constructed (as platted) to accommodate the majority. This would be determined through a public hearing.
Horrmann, along with other residents at the meeting, expressed their objections to a road being constructed there.
Mayor Jeffrey Putnam made it clear that the city is not planning to build a road anytime in the near future, but wanted to have the land surveyed to have the information on file.
It was also explained that the stakes include the right-of-way, which is 60 feet wide, according to Chuck DeWolfe, city engineer. Typical residential roads are 36 feet wide. Generally, the street is positioned in the center of the right of way, according to DeWolfe. Right of ways are made available for public utilities.
Later in the meeting, Bjork once again addressed the council to ask what the next step would be to address the limited access to Circle View Drive.
Council Member Sharon Asplin told Bjork that dead-end roads only have one access, and there are other dead ends around town.
Council Member Sara Nelson pointed out that there is an access at Martin Drive from Highway 15, which could be used by emergency personnel if necessary.
“If we have to get through, we will,” said Dassel Fire Chief Brian Massingham, explaining the barricades can be moved.
It was also noted that Sellard’s Avenue, though a low-maintenance road, could be used for emergency purposes.
Bjork commented that even if the fire department can get through, what if she needs to gain access.
Putnam told her there was nothing the city could do on the Martin Drive access since it’s private property, and any road improvements on Highway 15 (turning lanes) would have to be done through MnDOT.
Council Member Wayne Medcraft explained that this access was addressed in 2007, and, in addition to the cost and potential road hazards that were identified, there were as many residents for it as against it at that time. Even if any road improvements could be done on Highway 15, the city’s taxpayers would be paying for it, he said.
Medcraft suggested she talk to her neighbors to get their opinion before contacting MnDOT.
“I think I’ll talk to MnDOT,” Bjork told him.