County loses zoning case

An ongoing zoning issue between Houston County and Diane and Mike Fields of Winnebago Township came to a head July 30 when the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled unanimously in the Fields’ favor turning down an appeal from the county.



Skyline Materials owns a rock quarry next to the Fields’ farm and encroached within the 50-foot setback requirement prohibited under the Houston County Zoning Ordinance.

Skyline sought an after-the-fact setback variance from the Houston County Board of Adjustment in order to operate within 27 feet of the property line, which was approved.

The Fields took their case to Third Judicial District Court, and in July 2011 Houston County sought dismissal of the Fields’ complaint. But, in an order filed Sept. 14, 2011, District Judge Robert R. Benson concluded that the Fields had complied with all procedural requirements and Houston County’s motion to dismiss was denied.

The county and its attorney, Jay T. Squires of Ratwik, Roszak & Maloney of Minneapolis, appealed the decision in vain, as is evident by the July 30, 2012 ruling.


What now?

Houston County can persist in its quest for dismissal and has 30 days to petition the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Fields are represented by Caledonia attorney Gregory B. Schultz.

  • 4 qtrs of pain

    Its about time the legion of good old boys were taken down a peg or 2. I applied for an after the fact variance regarding a set back on a cartway that is an overgrown briar patch and was denied by the board. In this case its the same principal of an after the fact issue and the board approved it..? Come on people lets call a fair game here!! I appluad the Fields for standing their ground and sticking up for their RIGHTS. Its unfortunate that they had to endure added expenses and wasted time defending one of our basic rights as a landowner.