Zoning, permits, variances, set-backs, oh my!

To the Editor:

We recently received a bill for a zoning request permit (an addition to our garage) that was denied (twice) last fall. We thought it had been paid, but there was an amount remaining; it brought the process back to me. Neighbors were sent letters (with no opposition). The first council meeting was attended by my husband and son (who was to build the addition). The city electrician was also in attendance and spoke in opposition, as a city utility is located on back of our property and on the line with our neighbor – apparently there was concern about access – getting a truck to it. In all our years here we don’t recall a truck having to go there (they have accessed by foot). Several council members were also in opposition, wanting the addition smaller by two feet. At the suggestion of someone who works closely with the city council and understands its workings and zoning issues, an easement was obtained from our neighbor and the request brought back to the council. With the assumption and expectation of it being approved, we didn’t attend the meeting; it was again denied. With a call later to a council member, he suggested we purchase property from our neighbor.

I certainly understand the need for regulation but also have difficulty understanding why someone who takes pride in how their property looks and wants to build a reasonable addition on that property, is not allowed – but purchase property from our neighbor and we could?


Bill and Clare Klug

Caledonia, Minn.