June 24, 2023 at 2:44 p.m.
SYLVAN TOWNSHIP— Several citizens of Cass County were in attendance at the commissioner’s board meeting Tuesday, June 20. When asked by board chair Scott Bruns if there were any changes to the agenda, citizen Blaine Anderson requested to amend the agenda and move the approval of a reclassification request for Blue Water Resort, east of Hackensack on Webb Lake, by Travis Senenfelder from the consent agenda to the regular agenda. The request was granted and the commissioner’s heard from several residents opposed to granting the reclassification request to Blue Water Resort.
County Administrator Josh Stevenson explained the request to the board stating Senenfelder, owner of Blue Water Resort and adjacent property to the resort had applied for a reclassification of the parcels adjacent to the resort. It was mentioned in the application the property was formerly part of the resort and Senenfelder is requesting to revert them back to being part of the resort along with the possibility of adding either an additional cabin or RV spots. After a public hearing was held and comments were considered at the planning commission meeting, the recommendation from that board was for the commissioners to approve the request.
Commissioner Jeff Peterson made a motion to deny the reclassification request, with commissioner Bob Kangas seconding the motion for discussion. Peterson shared he visited the property and agrees that the lake would not be able to handle the additional traffic that is being proposed.
Blaine Anderson was the first citizen to express his concerns regarding reclassification. He expressed concern over the additional use and traffic on the relatively small lake, along with the possibility of issues with the existing easement. Anderson stated one of the properties is adjacent to his cabin and with the possible additional lodging and expansion of a beach area to the property it is felt that would bring a possibility of an additional 60 people at any given time, which is felt would be a disturbance to his peace.
The second resident to speak before the board was Maggie McGill by sharing her concerns regarding the current easement is a one lane road and with increased traffic it would be unsafe. Another concern of hers is where the current lot line is and feels a survey needs to conducted as there used to be stakes identifying the boundaries, but have since been removed. McGill’s last concern regarded security of the resort as typically resorts have a manager on-site, but Blue Water Resort does not have a physical person managing it, instead there are numerous cameras throughout the property. She feels if there was an actual emergency nobody would be around to assist.
Another resident, Pat Lichty raised concerns of all of the changes over the past 49 years, and mentioned that many of the resorts on Webb Lake are no longer in operation. He stated Webb Lake is a relatively small lake and cannot handle the additional traffic that is being proposed by expanding.
Commissioner Neal Gaalswyk stated the county needs a valid reason to deny the request in order to not be sued, and residents not wanting to have increased traffic is not a valid reason. A valid reason would include structural and environmental issues. After the motion commissioner Peterson made failed, Gaalswyk made a new motion to table the request and send back to the planning commission for further review, commissioner Kangas seconded the motion and all members voted aye.
Stevenson shared the 2023 Land Sale activity as of June 10. It was stated a total of 7 parcels totaling 106.59 acres have been purchased for the amount of $321,720. One of the parcels was sold over the counter for a total of $9,000, and the remaining 6 parcels were sold at the public land auction held June 12.
In other business, the county board:
• Heard from Ellen Heath regarding safety concerns on Gull River.
• Adopted two resolutions approving a Greater Minnesota Legacy Grant Application to the Greater Regional Parks and Trails Commission and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for the Gull Lake Trail - Phase Three for Fairview Township and the City of Lakeshore.
• Approved rescinding the Memorandum of Agreement for the Mississippi River Grand Rapids Watershed Implementation, with a recommendation to adopt a new memorandum of agreement in the future.
The next meetings are as follows: Commissioner’s board meeting 9 a.m. Wednesday, July 5 at the boardroom in the courthouse annex in Walker and commissioner’s board meeting 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 18 at Homebrook Township Townhall 3204 88th St. SW, Pequot Lakes.
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