2/10/2019 11:24:00 AM Cass County Board: Zoning permits up, but revenue down in 2018
MONICA LUNDQUIST Cass County Correspondent
WALKER-Cass County issued 10 more zoning permits in 2018 than in 2017, but permit revenue was down.
Environmental Services Director John Ringle told the county board Tuesday, Feb. 5, there were more permits issued for accessory buildings and additions to existing buildings than permits for new larger houses, causing the decline in revenue.
The environmental services department issued 1,478 permits in 2018. Of those, 1,147 were land use zoning permits for new buildings or private sewers. This is up from 1,105 in 2017.
While the number of variances declined from 95 in 2017 to 88 in 2018, Ringle said the planning commission approved a record monthly number of variances for recent years in August 2018.
The number of conditional use permits rose from 19 in 2017 to 28 in 2018. The county stopped requiring conditional use permits for land reclassifications last year. There were 12 reclassifications approved in 2018.
Shoreland alteration permits declined from 246 in 2017 to 200 in 2018. Variations from year to year for these permits often reflect whether there is ice damage along shorelines in spring.
There were two minor land subdivisions in 2017 and one plat recorded. In 2018, that reversed with one minor subdivision and two plats approved.
Townships where the largest numbers of permits were issued include Woodrow (88), Shingobee (86), Sylvan (67), Crooked Lake (63), Fairview (48), Hiram (42) and Powers (42).
Ringle also reported Cass will again receive a little over $500,000 in a state grant this year to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Cass commissioners approved Cass Soil and Water Conservation District's proposed budget to spend $512,000 in 2018.
That includes $343,000 to inspect boats and lifts and to decontaminate infested ones, $24,000 for education and information, $35,000 for lake association partnerships, $19,000 for the resort ambassador project, $10,000 for sheriff's deputies to do boat inspections and for the dive team to check invasive infestations, $5,000 for law enforcement inspections, $8,000 for inspector support facilities and $68,000 for the AIS coordinator/administrator.
Ringle obtained board approval to spend about $17,000 for the dumping fees for debris from seven vacant properties. Receipts from solid waste tipping fees will pay this cost, he said.
Leech Lake Reservation will remove burned and uninhabitable buildings from the seven sites and clean the properties for about the same cost as disposal.
Cass has a policy to help any local government wanting to clean up debris from properties within their boundaries by offering free dumping if the local government pays clean-up costs and hauling.
Second publication rights after Brainerd Dispatch.