At the June board meeting, the May Township board of supervisors said they needed to extend the moratorium on the issuance of permits within the conservancy districts. Approval of the motion requires a public hearing so the June meeting will reconvene Friday, June 17, at 2 p.m.
The conservancy moratorium was put in place in July 2021 in order to allow staff and Supervisors to review and update the township code. It soon posed challenges for the Arcola Mills historic site as it sought a new conditional use permit (CUP) and was mentioned as a factor in the failed sale of Wilder Forest site.
Arcola Mills came to the Board in November 2021 to ask for an exemption from the moratorium. The historic site had submitted an incomplete CUP application to the township before the moratorium being enacted.
Arcola Mills board chair Alexa Eickschen told the Supervisors in November 2021 that fundraising was essential if the 50-acre historic site was to continue in operation. The Arcola Mills mansion is 175 years old this year and the Arcola board hoped to complete restoration work on the outside of the mansion before holding a public celebration. Bids for the project ranged from $30,000 to $60,000. They wanted to host fundraising events at the site.
When it initially voted on the moratorium, the Township Board said it could issue a waiver if the moratorium resulted in substantial hardship for an applicant, if doing so did not unduly affect the integrity of the planning process or purposes for which the ordinance was enacted. It did not do so in the case of Arcola Mills.
Eickschen added, ‘Arcola represents the rich history of May Township. If the Township Board truly does value the significance of the site, I hope they can acknowledge the burden placed on Arcola Mills with an extension. An extension will be absolutely detrimental to the site's preservation.”
School Road Fund Agreement
Resident Ted Nesse asked the Supervisors to keep the road funding agreement with the school “on the front burner.” When the school’s conditional use permit was approved in 2021, allowing 25 additional children at the school, it was contingent upon a road funding agreement that has not yet been reached.
Schroeder Park Rental Approved for Ragnar Race Use
Ragnar Events organizers submitted an application to use the Marv Schroeder Park as an exchange point in a 200-mile running relay race on Aug. 12. The runners would not be using township roads for the race, only county and state roads.
Chair John Adams moved to approve application but initially neither Supervisor Steve Magner nor Supervisor John Pazlar seconded. Supervisor Magner said his hesitation is that the township seems to be becoming a summer tourist destination and that is not part of the township’s comprehensive plan or overall goal.
“Generally, when you have that goal, you have a commercial component that benefits. ‘Let’s draw tourists so our commercial node can experience that enhancement.’ We have no commercial node or use. I don’t know that we are looking to attract this.
“That said, I don’t know that this particular event is part of that or more just people passing through so, reluctantly, I will second the motion.”
The park usage application was approved.
• The Township will request a speed study from MnDOT for Ostlund Trail from Paul Ave. (Highway 7) to Oldfield Rd and from Oldfield Rd from Ostlund Trail to Norrell Avenue
• Supervisors approved a lot line adjustment between 12367 and 12369 Square Lake Trail to straighten the lot line between the two properties.
• Three deteriorating park benches were removed from Schroeder Park and will be replaced, and three additional benches added. The expected cost is $2,300.
• Supervisors continue to investigate equipment to allow for hybrid inperson and online board meetings.
• The dust control application has been delayed due to rain.