Panel OKs rezoning near airport for housing

NEW ULM – The New Ulm Planning Commission unanimously approved a petition Thursday to rezone several acres of undeveloped property east of the New Ulm Airport, from R-A (Agricultural Residence) to R-1 Single-Family Residence).

Melvin Schugel Jr.’s zoning petition application for property located south of Airport Road, west of Boundary Street and north of Maplewood Drive would allow for future construction of single-family dwellings. It no longer actively farmed and the wooded portion of the site has no dedicated use.

The Commission approved:

A Conditional Use Permit application by New Ulm City Manager Brian Gramentz to place more than 500 cubic yards per parcel of fill in the Flood Fringe District of the Minnesota River to construct a storm water treatment basin in Outlots 60 and 61 (2300 to 2414 North Broadway).

Riverview Townhomes is located to the north, single family dwellings to the west, a storm water pond to the south and vacant property to the east and south. A City recreational trail is located to the west and south of the proposed basin site, necessitated by street improvements to North Highland Avenue from U.S. Highway 14 to CSAH 29/North Garden Street.

The proposed basin would serve a 344.4-acre watershed. It is designed to drain out over a 48-hour period and would be considered a dry pond, emptying into a series of tile lines in the bottom of the basin.

It involves the placement of about 5,047 cubic yards of fill in the flood fringe area. The top of the basin berm elevation is 114. The project is designed to be above the 100-year flood of the Minnesota River, listed at 109.1, according to the Flood Insurance Study.

The withdrawal of a petition by Brown County Assistant Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak on behalf of the County and State of Minnesota to rezone from R-1 (Single Family Residence) to R-2 (Single and Two Family Residence) Lots 1-8 in Blocks 2 and 3, Dacotah West Addition.

City of New Ulm Building Official Dave Christian said a covenant supersedes city code, meaning only single family dwellings are permitted on the property.

In a Nov. 12, 2013 letter to New Ulm Community Development Director David Schnobrich, Prochniak said Brown County will make decisions on the sale of the lots individually in the near future. “Thanks for your time and effort expended for these requests,” Prochniak wrote. “It is unfortunate that we were not able to accommodate the request due to existing covenants.”

Approved the Final Plat of Sarah Hills Third Addition, 3.62 acres, creating 10 lots rezoned from R-A to R-1 earlier in the meeting. The request was to reduce lot width from 65 feet to 10 feet in Outlots A and B and reduce Outlot A lot area to 1,266 square feet; Outlot B lot area to 609 square feet and reduce Lot 1, Block 1 required depth from 125 feet to 121.7 feet.

“We’re creating two outlots for the future. They’re nice, very buildable lots,” Christian said.

Earlier, the New Ulm Board of Zoning Adjustment approved Schugel’s application for a variance from City Code regarding lot area and depth on the proposed platting of Sarah Hills Third Addition. A similar variance was granted to Schugel for Sarah Hills First Addition in 2005.

New Board of Zoning Adjustment officers elected are Chairman Larry Mack, Vice Chairman Bob Skillings and Secretary Ruth Ann Webster.

(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at

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