PLANNING & ZONING NEWS
As many of you know, Crow Wing Township inherited a number of land use violations from the county when we took over planning & zoning administration and others have occurred since then. One of the reasons we assumed these responsibilities was the number of requests we received from residents about cleaning up the garbage, junk vehicles and debris in the township. There has been considerable progress made.
Several residents have willingly cleaned up or at least have begun the process of resolving their violations. Others are being handled through legal channels. It is unfortunate that some cases need to be tried in the courts, but that is the only option left when a resident refuses to respond to repeated notices of violation.
The Town Board adopted a policy for billing property owners for the expenses incurred due to their violations. All expenses for any violation not cleared up within 30 days of the first notice, will be billed to the property owner and the violation will not be considered resolved until reimbursement to the township has been made.
LAND USE VIOLATION ENFORCEMENT BILLING
If a land use violation complaint is received and upon inspection, no violation is found, then no expenses will be billed to the property owner.
If a land use violation complaint is received and upon inspection, the property is found to be in violation and that violation is resolved within 30 days of the inspection or an agreement for completion is entered into and carried out in the agreed upon timeframe, then no expenses will be billed to the property owner.
If a land use violation complaint is received and upon inspection, the property is found to be in violation and that violation is not resolved within 30 days or an agreement for completion is not carried out within the agreed upon timeframe, then all expenses of every kind related to the violation will be charged to the property owner. This includes, but is not limited to staff time including telephone communications and meetings, mileage, attorney fees and other consultation expenses, postage and supplies. Any expenses incurred by the township for this violation shall be the responsibility of the owner of the property in violation. The violation shall not be considered resolved until all expenses have been paid for by the property owner and the violation no longer exists.
The land use violation and resulting expenses shall be included in the township’s response to title searches, so that any potential buyer of the property will be aware of the violation and outstanding charges, if they have a title search completed.
An exception to this policy may be made for extenuating circumstances, but only upon special approval by the Town Board at a regular meeting.