Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Voters should think about the long term

Posted

In her Feb. 19 letter to the editor regarding Greenwood Planning and Zoning, Mary Richard concluded by saying that allowing the activity to be provided by St. Louis County would “end much of the questionable goings on. The favoritism will be much less. The rules will be followed.”

Until recently I served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for several years and such statements cannot be supported with facts. If Mary has information to the contrary that is factual and not simply her opinion she should present it.

Unfortunately allegations such as this have become commonplace at Greenwood Township lately. Each of us must ask if this is factual and what is needed to improve our community for ourselves, our families, and future generations. On the other hand, is the allegation a short-sighted personal objective that may destroy our community? Personal opinions, while interesting, may not represent the best option in the long run for Greenwood Township.

Chuck Richards

Greenwood Twp., Minn.

Comments

13 comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment
ilk

Mr. Richards,

I can think of several questionable actions. One involves a Planning Commission member contacting a local business owner with the intent of renegotiating terms of her CUP, He did this without knowledge of the Planning Commission and then brought it to the Commission asking them if the CUP conditions could be mitigated. He would then bring the proposal back to the business owner in hopes she would reopen her business. There was a hearing of course on this CUP and to negotiate this outside of an open meeting is very questionable. In fact, when the commission member asked if he could take a deal from the commission back to the business owner, It was YOU who through up your hands and said NO!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016
sadie

you Mr. Richards, were the same person that didn't like the idea of having meetings recorded for accuracy. people make statements and then forget that they made it. when things don't go your way you just resign.

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Hardrockminer

To keep our community from continuing to destroy itself, planning and zoning must go back to St Louis County.

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Ilk

If you would like another example of questionable actions just look at the letter to the editor posted by Sue and Jim Niekrasz. The Planning and Zoning Department beat these folks up over a garage on the Woods Rd but allowed the Mega Boathouse. Where is the fairness in that. What is good for the Township in the long run is to send Planning and Zoning back to the County and to conduct Township government in an open fashion with respect to all points of view.

Thursday, February 25, 2016
Julia Maki

Ilk,

I need feel I need to correct a couple of your comments. (1) The individual you reference in regards to Bay View had the Township's attorney's "OK" to engage in discussion with Bay View. Without going into details, there was nothing inappropriate here and the attorney even reviewed it after a concern was raised and still determined there was nothing inappropriate done. (2) Neikrasz built a garage in complete violation of their permit, in fact part of it was not even on their property. They also refused to apply for an after-the-fact variance to correct it. Unfortunately, this was then forced to go court and then into trial and a Judge ruled that they needed to bring the garage into compliance or remove it. It was only then they decided to apply for an after-the-fact variance. As for the boathouse, that was all done in compliance with the Ordinance and had DNR support. I am the Greenwood Township Planning Director and feel the need to shed some light on this misleading statements. If anyone has any questions regarding anything Greenwood has done as far as Planning and Zoning goes, by all means please feel free to contact me.

Friday, February 26, 2016
Hardrockminer

P and Z- There you go again... negotiating in secret,running questionable tactics by the 'township' attorney to see if things can 'be gotten away with'. Call MAT next time. Or call them every time, but only AFTER the board approves your spending of more tax dollars first.

Friday, February 26, 2016
Ilk

The attorney said it was OK if the Commissioner was acting as a citizen. He was not, he described what happened while sitting in his commissioner's seat and the business owner knew he was a Supervisor also. As for the the Ñieckraz case, to claim victory for losing 20,000.00 on the case is ludicrous. It's also clear that the Woods Rd is little more than a rabbit tract , a bad one at that, and the Niekrasz garage was well back from the lake. This attorney has been wrong before and the Township has lost a lawsuit because of his poor judgement as well as theirs. They use his services to bully their way through,hoping no one will enlist counsel and resist. It has absolutely nothing to do with what is right only what they can get away with. The Planning and Zoning must be sent back to the County. See you at the Annual Meeting!!!

Friday, February 26, 2016
Royal Enfield

ILK,

I was at the meeting where Sue and Jim Niekrasz put on their very sad faces and attempted to play the role of victim in the case of their ill placed garage. This meeting was after they had lost their court case. It was very obvious that they were either dishonest or mentally deficient. Planning and Zoning Director Julia Maki had taken the time to go to their property and show them exactly where the garage needed to be built to comply with set back regulations. Even after Julia's advice they chose to disregard the rules and do as they pleased. Their actions were that of children who do something they know they shouldn't but think it is easier to beg for forgiveness after the fact then do the right thing from the start.

Friday, March 11, 2016
Ilk

Royal,

You don't address the MegaBoathouse that the Director pushed for and approved. Hatfield had requested a variance which was not granted and then a few months later requested a variance for a slightly smaller Mega Boathouse which was granted. If you read the findings of fact involved in both variances you would think they were from different properties or planets. That's dishonest. The Thayer variance was an after the fact variance yet you don't claim dishonesty or mental deficiency on their part. Bottom line is enforcing the Niekrasz cost the Township 25,000.00 and it recovered 4,500.00. It is both unfair to help the ones you like and poor business practice to lose 20,000.00 on the ones you don't

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Royal Enfield

Ilk,

I am not familiar with the Thayer variance but was at both meetings for the Hatfield boat house. Al Hatfield has more than a mile of shoreline. He also followed the legal path to get to where he hoped to go. The DNR was fully on board with the approval of a variance. Also Hatfield had gone to a lot of extra expense with the property to preserve the natural environment. If you want to see a monstrosity that is a blight on the shoreline check out Shamrock Landing.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
ilk

Royal,

Read both Hatfield's findings of fact and you be the judge if it's the same piece of property. As for preserving the natural environment, I take it that you haven't been by the Mega Boathouse or you are just a friend of his. Of course, it's hard to hide an elephant in a strawberry patch.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
ilk

Royal,

Read both Hatfield's findings of fact and you be the judge if it's the same piece of property. As for preserving the natural environment, I take it that you haven't been by the Mega Boathouse or you are just a friend of his. Of course, it's hard to hide an elephant in a strawberry patch.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Royal Enfield

Ilk,

I don't know and am not friends with Al Hatfield. I boated past the boathouse while it was under construction more by accident than anything else. My wife and I were looking at buying a small cabin cruiser to use on Vermilion in the spring and fall and liked a 23' Century. That boat with the bowsprit and lower unit would not have fit in the maximum allowable boathouse so I understand the need for the occasional larger boat house. By preserving the natural environment I was referring to the way he tried to build the cabin/home with as little disruption as possible. Happy spring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016