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A not-so-simple subdivision

A simple subdivision was anything but last month in Afton.

During its Feb. 18 meeting, Afton City Council decided it needed more information before moving forward with a simple subdivision application.

The simple subdivision, which is essentially a redrawing of lot lines, would subdivide 14.5 acres from Darlene Moynagh’s 19.1 acre parcel, thus leaving her with a 5 acre parcel.

The 14.1 acre parcel would then be joined with Nathan Landucci’s existing 9.26 acre parcel, creating a 23.76 acre parcel.

However, City Council expressed hesitation to move forward with the approval based on a number of factors.

One of the questions raised by City Council related to identifying two possible locations for a septic system, which must happen whenever a new lot is created.

“It’s my interpretation that anytime you do a subdivision,” Council Member Joe Richter said, “you’re creating new lots that need to be platted.”

However, the majority of the City Council’s concerns related more to Landucci’s overall vision and long-term plans, which would include developing four lots on a 40-acre parcel.

The first concern, raised by Mayor Dick Bend, related to one of Landucci’s proposed lots being an irregular shape.

“This shape is basically a product of all of the variables we needed to conform,” Landucci said.

Another issue raised by Bend is a requirement that all driveways be separated by 300 feet.

Since Landucci intends to not only build a road, but also driveways, Bend said this is something that should be considered before the proposed plans go any further.

In relation to the driveways, Afton’s ordinances state that no lot shall be created that requires the creation of a street, which is a likely possibility in Landucci’s plans.

Richter shared many of the same concerns as Bend.

“Any questions that I am bringing up should not be taken as any indication that I’m not in favor of this,” Richter said.

Bend proposed sending the application back to city staff for further review in order to address some of the council’s concerns.

“It looks to me that there are some questions to be answered,” Bend said. “There’s a little more homework that needs to be done.”

City Council will discuss the simple subdivision again at its March meeting.

“I think this could be beneficial for Afton,” Bend said, “but there’s a problem with our ordinances right now. I don’t want you to leave with hopes of something that might not be possible.”

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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