Controversy Over Building Permit Has Two Sides In Disagreement
SARTELL -- A debate over wording in a building permit ordinance has two sides in disagreement.
Shawn Omann applied for a building permit to build a shed on his property in LeSauk Township. However, several days later he says he was denied based off a new ordinance that was suddenly passed.
"In essence what they did, they quickly threw together an ordinance to block me and when my building application was submitted it was denied because I no longer applied to the ordinance," says Omann.
Omann wanted to build a shed with steel siding but according to the ordinance, LeSauk Township requires siding for an accessory building must match the house.
Tonight (Tuesday) the LeSauk Township board held a public hearing on amending changes to the ordinance. The changes included allowing residents to build larger size detached garages, and that the exterior of the building must come to as close of a match to the home.
Board Chair John Krehbeil says they wanted to clean up the language that was lacking so everyone is on the same page.
"The reason we wanted in writing is because for 30 years the decisions that were made a long time ago, it was something the board asked them to do and they did it without question. Now we want to make sure their are no questions on these issues," says Krehbeil.
Residents who spoke at the hearing felt the ordinance was a great idea, however many felt the homeowner should have more discretion on what finish should be put on.
After further discussion the board voted 3-0 to approve the ordinance.
Omann says while he's in favor of the direction the board is trying to do, but in the end felt cheated.
"I think it's good to ask questions and have a discussion but when one person has the ultimate authority in pick and choosing that just allows a person to abuse their power," says Omann.
Krehbeil says the ordinance now paints a better picture on what residents can do and gives them proper guidelines they haven't had on certain issues.
"The ordinance and have some leeway and they can also come in for a variance. So we work with people and we try to make them all happy," says Krehbeil.
The amended ordinance will now be brought before the Joint Planning Board on September 8th for final approval.