Variance for machine shed granted

NEW ULM – The Brown County Board of Adjustment unanimously approved a variance reduction for an Eden Township farmer to build a 54-by-60-foot machine shed in the A-1 Agricultural Protection Zone District, just south of County Road 10 in the Minnesota River Valley.

Current farm yard size, well location, building arrangement and equipment size necessitated the need to reduce the rear yard setback from the required 20 feet to 5 feet, according to the variance application by Philip P. Sellner for Sellner Brothers, LLP.

“We’re stuck on a little bit of an island,” Sellner said. “A smaller shed wouldn’t be cost effective.”

In the Variance Application Worksheet, Sellner explained that pre-existing conditions including the (Minnesota River) bluff line, water and electric lines and existing buildings make the building area limited.

He added that without a variance, the proposed building and its proximity with the current building arrangement would restrict yard size and machinery movement.

The worksheet stated that the variance would not be detrimental to neighboring wood lots for hunting, logging, firewood or recreational uses. A smaller building would be impractical and would not fill the need for more space due to larger equipment needed to farm.

Laine Sletta of the Brown County Planning and Zoning Office said the application was within compliance.

Sellner said he has contacted all adjoining property owners about the project except Larry D. Steinhaus. Board Chairman Tony Boelter recommended Sellner contact Steinhaus before starting to build the shed to avoid any disagreements.

New Board of Adjustment elected officers are Chairman Tony Boelter, Vice Chairman Tom Hirsch and Secretary Ron Schneider.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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