Board mulls moratoriums on cemeteries, dog kennels

On the Chisago County Board’s docket for the first meeting of 2017 were two items that drummed up perhaps the most controversy at county meetings in 2016: cemeteries and dog kennels.
The board Jan. 5 was set to consider moratoriums on residential and commercial dog kennels and cemeteries, burial ground, columbariums and ossuaries.
Moratoriums are temporary prohibitions of activities or developments while a body studies how it’s going to address an issue in the long term.
Chisago County Administrator Bruce Messelt said after the meeting that the board, 4-1, with Commissioner Lora Walker voting no, decided to not set a public hearing date on a dog kennel moratorium. They instead chose to send the issue to the County Planning Commission for further review.
The issue of dog kennels became controversial last year when Ryan Anderson and Missy Carpentier came before the board to request a conditional use permit to operate a sled dog kennel on their 50-acre property off River Road in Sunrise Township. Anderson is a lifelong musher and Carpentier is a veterinary neurologist.
The board ultimately initially turned down that request, 3-2, Nov. 16, with the majority members telling Anderson and Carpentier that if they wanted a sled dog kennel, their dogs would have to be housed in a structure at night. The board then approved an amended proposal by a 3-2 vote that would allow a kennel on the property, if the structure to house them is constructed within six months.
“What the board wanted us to look at on dog kennels is the number of dog kennels in the county and kind of their disbursement, number of dogs on the permitted kennels, the issue of indoor and outdoor kennels and also the division between residential kennels and commercial kennels,” Messelt said. “There’s some pretty good direction there.”
The cemetery proposal by Enes Gluhic, of the Islamic Community of Bosniaks in Minnesota, was to establish a 2-acre cemetery on a 16-acre parcel of land in south Chisago Lake Township. Like the dog kennel application, the conditional use permit for the cemetery was voted down 3-2 Dec. 21.
Messelt said the board first decided on having the public hearing for that moratorium Feb. 1, but they then revisited the issue and chose to move the public hearing to March 15 so the Planning Commission has time to research the proposed moratorium and give advice to the board.
“That gives the Planning Commission basically a month and a half to see if they can identify any issues or tweaks that they might recommend for cemeteries,” Messelt said.
Unlike the specifics the board relayed to county staff about what to research when it comes to dog kennels, Messelt said the direction the board gave on a cemetery moratorium was “much more open-ended.”

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