Royalton City Council considers variance request

By Jennie Zeitler, Correspondent

After approving a conditional use permit for a proposed building by Royalton resident Gary Borash in June, the same issue came before the Royalton City Council as a request for a variance, Tuesday.

“The building inspector wouldn’t sign off on the conditional use permit because the building is too large and there are too many buildings on the property,” said Planning and Zoning Supervisor Tim Majaski. “Our attorney (Toni Wetzel) recommends we do a variance request.”

“Our dilemma is that the ordinance allows for two accessory buildings and this property already has seven,” said Mayor Andrea Lauer.

Borash would like to build a new storage building for the business his family has operated for more than 60 years. Many of Borash’s building materials and pieces of equipment are stored outside.

“Business materials are sitting out in the elements,” Borash said. “I don’t want the equipment to fall apart.”

Majaski described three options available to the council. The property could be rezoned. A variance could be granted. A variance could be denied.

“To grant a variance, according to state statute, Gary has to prove ‘practical difficulty,’” said Majaski.

After the conditional use permit was approved last month, Borash had ordered materials for the new building.

“Now I’ll be in limbo for two months,” he said.

“He hasn’t proved ‘practical difficulty,’” said City Clerk Carol Madsen. “The statute says that economic considerations alone do not constitute a practical difficulty.”

“The equipment sits in a snowbank and gets frozen in and I can’t get access to it,” Borash said.

“I believe he just demonstrated a practical difficulty,” said Council Member Ron Verley.

The Council sent the request back to Planning and Zoning for further discussion.

Majaski requested a public hearing be set for the August meeting, so the issue could be decided dependent on discussion at the July 15 Planning and Zoning meeting, 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Royalton City Council Briefs


Other business that came before the Royalton City Council Tuesday, included:

•Approving the purchase of a larger fire hose for the truck that was purchased from Rice, at a cost of $1,624.95. “We had hoped the hose that came with the truck would work, but found that two-and-a-half inches was not adequate,” said Council Member Al Libke;

•Approving the purchase of new turnout gear for new firefighters at $1,695 from Alex Air Apparatus;

•Renewing the city’s electronic sign warranty agreement at $725, an increase of $30 from 2013;

•Approving the closure of South Birch Street between East Centre Street and South First Street on Aug. 1, from 8 a.m. – midnight for the annual wrestling club event;

•Discussing a variance request from Paul Nordlund to replace an existing garage with a larger garage at 408 S. First Street;

•Approving a one-day liquor license for the Lions Club for Saturday, Aug. 3, the annual Platte River Day;

•Approving a resolution naming the 2014 election judges as: Head Judge Joyce Mester, Connie Anderson, Jennie Zeitler, Penny Zimny, Bernie Haldenwanger and Mary Snyder;

•Approving a permit for a pot-bellied pig for Jim Schindele; and

•Listening to an update by Lauer regarding the use of LED lights in the city. “When we replaced the high-pressure sodium traffic lights with LEDs, our bill came down dramatically,” she said. “LED has a higher quality of light as well. We have to keep going on this.”

The next meeting of the Royalton City Council will be Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 7 p.m. at the City Complex.