Pierz looks at defining lot split requirements

By Terry Lehrke, News Editor 

The city of Pierz does not have an ordinance addressing lot splits within its limits. But that will soon change.

Any changes made due to lot splits, when one property owner sells a portion of their property to another, are recorded with the county, often without the city’s knowledge.

Pierz City Administrator Anna Gruber said the county has no reason to contact the city, because of the lack of ordinance.

Gruber said when she became city administrator several years ago, she asked the county to inform the city of any such changes, so not many have been made without the city’s knowledge since then.

Because there is no current ordinance, Gruber said the Planning and Zoning Commission and the city have been using its minimum lot requirement guidelines for lot sizes. “That’s what we were using to enforce lot splits,” said Gruber. That became an issue, because the minimum lot requirement is 15,000 square feet.

“A lot of lots in town don’t meet that requirement,” said Gruber. “Any of the original plats in town are likely not 15,000 square feet or anywhere close to it.”

A new ordinance is being considered, with minimum standards for lot width and area for the zoning district in which they are located — the zoning districts are based on when the lots were platted.

Planning and Zoning Commission member Arvin Litke had the original zoning ordinance drawn up in 1982. That may be the year that will divide one zoning district from another, with those platted prior to 1982 requiring a lower number of square feet to split. That decision however, has not yet been made.

Lots platted after that time were required to have a larger square footage than those prior to 1982.

Gruber and the Planning and Zoning Commission will meet Monday at 4 p.m., and will bring a recommendation to the Council at its Monday, Feb. 10 meeting.

Pierz City Council Briefs

In other business Monday, the Pierz City Council: • Accepted from Paul Froncak and Tom Girtz, members of the Beyond the Yellow Ribbon Committee, a proclamation from Gov. Mark Dayton, declaring Pierz a Yellow Ribbon City;

• Approved a gambling permit for the Harding Sportsman’s Club for a grad bash raffle;

• Approved proclaiming February as teen dating violence prevention and awareness month, as requested by Hands of Hope;

• Agreed to meet in closed session Jan. 30 to discuss land negotiations;

• Voted to leave committee designations and the city’s fee schedule the same as in 2013;

• Accepted the high bid of $8,675 from Dale Saehr for the city’s old plow truck; and

• Approved Police Chief Eric Hanneken helping with ordinance complaints in Buckman as needed, at a rate of $50 per hour. Hanneken said needs in the city of Pierz would come first.

The next Pierz City Council meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 10, at 7 p.m.