October 25, 2010

Greenwood Town Board of Adjustment Hearing/Meeting / October 25, 2010
Called to order by Chairman John Aro at 6:30 pm.

Present: Chr. John Aro, Vice-Chr. Gene Baland, Carol Maus, Dennis Orehek, Mickey Scipioni, Director Julia Maki, Clerk Ellen Trancheff, Attorney Scott Neff, Court Reporter Kate Undleland

MOTION Baland/Orehek to approve the Aug. 23, 2010 minutes. Approved 5/0

Public Hearing for Robert Arch – continued from the Aug. 23, 2010 hearing. Action was tabled for clarification of the Conservation Easement placed on the property by St. Louis County and to determine if the West Twin Lake was classified. When the Vermilion Plan was adopted, the West Twin Lake area of Pine Island was determined to be Res-8 requiring 1 acre and 200′ of shoreline.

Applicant: Robert Arch
Address: 95700 Pine Island Rd. N. (not yet official)
Legal: Lot 144 and 181 Vermilion Dells
Lot Size: Lot 144 is .31 acres in size, 75′ shoreline
Zone: RES – 8
Request: To construct a 26’x32′ cabin with a 30′ attached deck, 75′ from the OHWL
Relief from: Art. III, Sec. 2 requiring 1 acre, 200′ of shoreline. Art. VI, Sec. 13.01 a maximum of 40% lot width for the primary structure. Two lots are separated by an undeveloped platted road.
Director Maki’s Recommendation:

  • Allow a 26’x32′ cabin with 30′ wide attached deck, 75′ from the OWHL (Ordinary High Water Line)
  • Lots 144 and 181 may not be sold independent of eachother
  • Lot 181 is used for the drain field as permitted by St. Louis County Environmental Services Department
  • Lake Vermilion Mitigation Measures be implemented (Point System)
  • Vegetation be enhanced and maintained in the SIZ (Shore Impact Zone)
  • Greenwood Fire Dept. implementations for fire protection
  • 75′ Conservation Easement request from the DNR be implemented
  • Legal Access for the two lots be established

Fire Dept:  Captain Jeff Maus discussed the request with Chief Scott Kregness and with the applicant. Recommendations:

  • A dock attached to the shoreline on Lake Vermilion that is the min. of 6′ wide/30′ long-located at the legal access point
  • 8′ Wide Trail be maintained from the dock to the structure
  • Firewise Guidelines be implemented for a defendable area around the structure
  • Summer and Winter operations for fire/ems with no issues as long as the dock is installed and trail is marked
  • Pump System – Should be designed for a sprinkler system that would allow pumping water from West Twin Lakes
  • Mr. Arch advised that he would allow the Fire Department use of his pump and the Fire Dept. has several portable pumps


  • Agrees to the Director’s and Fire Dept. recommendations. Mitigation Points – Restoration of buffer zone (2 pts) – new sewage system (2 pts) – shoreline restoration (2 pts) – Exterior building materials to blend with natural vegetation (3 pts)
  • He explained that when they purchased the lot, got a copy of the deed, there was no mention of a Conservation Easement. The survey showed access to the lots via the platted roads. Asked if Lot 144 is build able and was advised he could. He asked for reasonable use of his property.

Paul Voge:

  • Attorney for the Arch’s. Cited State Statutes 462. and 357 regarding non-conforming lots. He stated that all setbacks can be met on this site. Impervious surface not to exceed 25% – only 8% will be covered. The property can’t be put to reasonable use by actions not caused by Mr. Arch. Zoning changes caused the property to require a variance. The building size is consistent with the locality (832 sq. ft.) as there are other much larger buildings in the area. The DNR approved the sale of the lot with the condition that the shoreline is protected along a 15′ corridor and 75′ buffer from the lake.

Andy Peterson: Attorney representing the neighbors who oppose the Arch request.

  1. Mr. Arch at the time of purchase should have known he could not build on lot 144. It is a self-imposed hardship and he should not fault St. Louis County or Ms. Maki
  2. Signifcant harm if granted. West Twin Lake is pristine and should be protected as stated by Amy Loiselle, DNR Hydrologist.
  3. At some time the board has to draw the line and enforce the ordinance. If not there could be 30 cabins around this lake. He asked the board to deny and protect the West Twin Lake-Mr. Arch can build on Lot 181.

Public Comments: In Favor or the Request

  • Dean Panian – Clover Point Road
  • Larry Arch – Parent of Robert Arch
  • Kristina Arch – applicant

Written Comments: Will be kept as an addendum to the minutes as well of a list of those who submitted written comments.

Public Comments: Opposed of the Request

  • Bill Hermeling – No address provided
  • Marcie Moe – 3331 Nisen Dr.
  • Dick Wray – Pine Island – Opposed to the location
  • Kay Plantz – Pine Island – How many docks in the future?
  • Carol Kent – Pine Island – Keep pristine West Twin Lake protected
  • Steve Kent – Pine Island – Reclassify the West Twin Lake – deny variance
  • Tim Voge – Attorney for – There would not be 30 individual lots as there are 6-8 owners of all the lots on the lake. Cited 462.357, Sub. 1E, D-J. Supports the endorsement of the Planning Director.
  • Andy Peterson – Attorney for neighbors – Requires .5 acre which Arch doesn’t have. Deny the Variance.

Public Hearing Closed at 8:05 pm.

Regular Meeting of the Board of Adjustment – October 25, 2010

Called to order at 8:06 pm with all members still present: Chr. Aro, Vice-Chr. Baland, Dennis Orehek, Carol Maus, Mickey Scipioni, Attorney Scott Neff, Court Reporter Kate Undeland, Director Julia Maki, Clerk Ellen Trancheff

Carol Maus – Is a close friend of Robert Arch and will abstain.

Gene Baland – Would like to address the attorney’s concern about .5 acre rationale to deny.

Dennis Orehek – Can we legally apply the fire dept. recommendation?

Scott Neff, attorney – Yes. The reality is that everyone on Pine Island is at risk. The dock issue is something to look at in the future.

Chr. Aro – Can a private individual put their own dock on a platted road access?

Scott Neff, attorney – If property owner is within the plat, yes. It may be put in an agreement for shared use in the future.

MOTION  Orehek/Scipioni to approve the Variance Request of Robert Arch subject to the following conditions:

  1. Two Parcels (144/181) cannot be sold independent of one another
  2. Drainfields on Lot 181
  3. lake Vermilion Plan Mitigation Measure be implemented
  4. Vegetation will be enhanced and maintained in the SIZ (Shore Impact Zone)
  5. Recommendations from the Greenwood Fire Dept. be implemented and ensure additional fire safety, including docking and signage requirements.
  6. 75′ Conservation Easement request from the DNR be implemented
  7. Variance for storage building be denied
  8. Only One Dock on Texas or Utah Road, will have shared use, maintenance will be handled by any future interior lot owners.

MOTION APPROVED 3/1 with Aro voting No, Maus abstained

Public Meeting Closed at 8:25 pm.

Called to order by Chr. Aro at 8:35 pm

Present: Chr. Aro, Gene Baland, Carol Maus, Dennis Orehek, Mickey Scipioni, Attorney Scott Neff, Court Reporter Kate Undeland, Clerk Trancheff, Director Maki

Public Hearing opened at 8:36 pm:

Retreat Lodge: Appeal of the Greenwood Planning Director’s Admistrative Decision to accept the application for a modified CUP (Conditional Use Permit) for Retreat Lodge

Director Maki gave an overview and history of events regarding Retreat Lodge and their application for a modified Conditional Use Permit. It is part of this public record – Powerpoint presentation.

Attorney Scott Neff

  1. Explained that this is a unique situation that the board has never encountered before. The purpose of this hearing is to determine if it was appropriate for the director to accept an application. We are not dealing with the merits of the issue, did the director do her job.
  2. The substance of the matter goes to the Planning Commission. The Board of Adjustment deals with the procedural issue

Attorney Mitch Brunfelt: Represents 29 neighbors of Retreat Lodge. In summary, under the ordinance, his 29 clients object to the decision of the planning director and are appealing to the Board of Adjustment. He cited a history of permit violations and blatant violations of their CUP (Conditional Use Permit)

Attorney Jenny Carey: Represents the owners of Retreat Lodge who object to this appeal. In summary, the issue before the board tonight is to determine if Director Maki’s decision to accept the application for the CUP was appropriate. This board does not have to review all the history asserted by neighbors. She asked the board to deny the appeal from the neighbors.

Public Hearing Closed at 9:35 pm.

Called to order at 9:38 pm:

Present: Chr. Aro, Vice-Chr. Baland, Carol Maus, Dennis Orehek, Mickey Scipioni, Attorney Scott Neff, Court Reported Kate Undeland, Clerk Trancheff, Director Maki

Attorney Scott Neff: Instructed the board that they heard two very compelling arguments with very competent legal counsel. A lot of history was given that is not the duty or responsibility of this board. In addition to the 1994/95 CUP granted by St. Louis County, Greenwood has issued 5 permits for Retreat Lodge. The Planning Commission will need to decide on that part. The issue tonight is, did Director Maki do her job as Planning Director.

MOTION Orehek/Aro to uphold the Greenwood Planning Director’s decision to request Retreat Lodge to make application for a modified CUP in accordance with Art. VIII, Sec. 1.03. Approved 5/0

MOTION Baland/Aro to adjourn at 9:50 pm.

Respectfully Submitted
Ellen Trancheff – Clerk
John Aro – Chairman