Almelund business owners agree to relinquish permit to operate

County cites violations of conditions

The Chisago County Board of Commissioners was set to have a public hearing Aug. 16 on the revocation of a permit that allowed an Almelund couple to operate a home-based business, but just prior to the meeting they sent a letter to the board stating they will voluntarily relinquish the interim use permit.
The permit was issued to Gary and Angela Weness July 17, 2013, to operate a small trucking business from their property off Park Trail.
Paired with that permit was a list of seven conditions. According to an investigation by county Environmental Services Department staff and the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, “greater than 50 percent of the permit-related conditions have and/or are not being followed and violation of the ‘abandoned vehicle’ provisions of the zoning ordinance have not been observed.”
Chisago County Administrator Bruce Messelt said the attorney for the Wenesses wrote the board to request 90 days upon which they would voluntarily relinquish their interim use permit and waive any administrative or judicial appeals.
The board was affable to that request, approving it 4-0.
“We’ll monitor in the next two weeks to make sure the property is cleaned up,” Messelt said.
The public hearing on the issue was postponed to 7:15 p.m. Nov. 15.
“If the applicant does relinquish their IUP, it comes back for board action at that time,” Messelt said. “At that time (the board) can cancel the hearing.”
One resident, John Sandberg, of Almelund, spoke in favor of the Wenesses and their business.
“From my prospective, they (the board) are taking away way too many rights of the individual landowners and citizens,” he said.

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