SE City Council approves variance

SLEEPY EYE – By a 4-1 vote at a special meeting Monday, the Sleepy Eye City Council approved a variance request by Sleepy Eye Electric to construct a building in the northwest part of town.

Councilor Dick Zinniel cast the dissenting vote for the request to reduce the setback on the side of the building to be constructed in the C.C. Hansen Addition on Prescott N.W.

“Why not redesign the building? It’s still just on paper,” Zinniel said.

The variance was approved with a condition that the city be held harmless for possible drainage issues and that drain tile must be maintained.

Councilor Judy Beech said redesigning the building was not practical and that the variance was needed to make use of the property by a viable, local business that employs eight people. “The building is unique for the land. This is a business we want to support,” she said.

City Manager Mark Kober said potential difficulties could justify the variance.

Last month, in an effort to avoid a zoning variance request, the city council tabled the variance request to reduce the side setback from 25 feet to 10 feet that was approved by the city planning and zoning committee. The building was redesigned slightly as it was presented to the city council Monday.

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