Administrative Subdivision Process Eliminated in Crow Wing Co. Shoreline Districts
The Crow Wing County Board of Commissioners recently eliminated the administrative subdivision process to avoid having property owners split their property without having to present before a public hearing. Instead, property owners must go through the planning process.
The planning process is where someone looking to split their property submits a survey to the Planning Commission outlining all the different property splits on a lot. From there, neighbors would be notified and a public hearing would then take place.
“The administrative subdivision process avoided all of that,” says Crow Wing County Administrator Tim Houle. “As we’re seeing more and more of our lake shore is developed, and we’re seeing more and more pressures on these marginal lake shore developments, we were starting to see processes being used by developers, in a way, to avoid the neighborhood impacts, or having to deal to the neighbors.”
The county deemed that if someone’s property is within 1,000 feet of the lake shore, then their property is part of the shoreline district. With how heavily developed Crow Wing County’s shoreline districts are, if a property owner wants to split property, they must face their neighbors at a public hearing.
All neighbors of the property in question are allowed to present at the hearing why they think the board should not allow a property split. However, the majority doesn’t necessarily rule. Even if the majority of neighbors feel strongly about a property not being split, there must be a clear-cut reason of how the property owner would be in violation of property laws after a split.
“Public opposition is not enough,” says Houle. “There has to be some legitimate public policy issue other than just public input. That’s not to say public input means nothing, it’s just not the only data point, and I think when folks fill a room, they think it’s a headcount. It can’t be a headcount or we’re going to get sued, and we’re going to lose.”
Administrative subdivision processes are still active anywhere outside of the shoreline district.