Agendas and Minutes

January 6, 2015 Working Planning Commission Minutes

January 6, 2015

Working Planning Commission Meeting



Present:  Wayne Olson, Duane Swanson, Roberta Folkestad, Gary Valvoda, Alan Teich, Marshall Pearson, Harvey Lindstrom, Nancy Dahlin Teich

Septic ordinance discussion pertaining to proposed ordinance revisions.  For this meeting topic, Harvey Lindstrom, Royalton Septic Inspector, was invited for discussion on this topic.


Discussion ensued regarding the possible adopting of the proposed revision to the septic ordinance.   The question is whether the township should take responsibility for septic inspection.   Harvey Lindstrom was invited to this meeting to assist Royalton township in making the decision as to whether to adopt the county ordinance as proposed.   


Mr. Lindstrom encouraged Royalton to adopt the ordinance as written.   He said that it is his intent to retire in two more years, and he would have a recommendation as to a replacement for the work he does on behalf of Royalton Township. Harvey also advised that Royalton think about the current level of staffing at the courthouse for this work, the county having just laid off one of two county inspectors, leaving one county staff person to serve the entire county.


Compliance inspections are required at point of sale.  Private contract for deeds do not show up until filing of the title.  County will provide township with a regular report , or at least annually, a report showing properties with title changes to aide in identifying properties that need septic inspections under the revised ordinance.


Harvey explained that he would be at a meeting this week with state staff concerning septic inspections.  One question is whether or when a door to door septic inspection will be mandated.  Persons present felt that it was a matter of time before inspection of all sewer systems occurred,, i.e. knocking on doors and checking septic.


Harvey explained that now that the reporting is computerized, he is able to report directly to state of Minnesota, no longer requiring his time be spent at the township offices to compile the reporting.   He also explained the process of working with counties and municipalities, and the challenges of timing inspections with contractor schedules. 


Discussion ensued regarding what the township feelings are when considering the matters of local control, meaning Royalton handling septic matters, versus county handling these matters.   Township should also decide value of local control in making the decision to keep the function at the township or remand it to county control.    


Statistics for Royalton show 4 septic permits were issued in calendar year 2014.  (1 repair and 3 new)


Those present also discussed “who” is responsible for advising landowner of the need for inspection.   Realtors have been trained in the requirements for septic inspections. 

Concern that township may be faced with legal charges associated with enforcing the inspection in sales that have occurred without a septic inspection.   How many situations may occur where township is faced with legal charges to enforce the code is unknown. 


Some townships have more restrictive requirements in septic ordinance, i.e. requiring septic inspections at each point of sale.  Consensus was that state standards as authored at Pine County would meet the needs of Royalton Township. No recommendation to develop standards stricter than county standards.


On the matter of retaining septic compliance processes at Royalton Township, the Planning Commission will prepare a recommendation for the township to consider at a near future meeting.


Harvey Lindstrom advised that if Royalton Township retains septic inspection responsibilities, then a notice of the public hearing must accompany paper work that must be submitted to MPCA.  (State pollution control entity)  Harvey Lindstrom offered to send the paperwork to the state entity on behalf of Royalton.  Paperwork must go to State of Minnesota at least 30 days in advance of the required public hearing for adoption of the septic ordinance.   


The February 2015 meeting of the township is when a decision should be made as to the town’s position on the provision of septic inspections.  An additional Planning Commission meeting may be necessary.   If the township does not adopt the responsibility, the responsibility goes to county by default due to inaction at the township. 

Changes to septic ordinance as proposed should include the following revisions to wording as presented in draft as provided by county.    

Section    303.01   ………under contract an appropriately licensed septic inspector . . . . . . .

5.02.04 page 9; holding tanks may be allowed in any of the following applications: i, ii, & iii. 

Additionally, page 22 # 17 must look up when the current township ordinance was adopted and insert the date.  Royalton adopted their ordinance February 23, 2010 


It is the intent of the Planning Commission to attend to multiple Ordinance changes in one public hearing, these being:  1. language for land splits;   2. Septic;   3. Interim permitting.


On the matter of the Planning Commission recommendation to the township board as to whether the township should retain septic inspection responsibilities, the Planning Commission did not have consensus as to recommendation.


Meeting adjourned 9:15 p.m.


NDahlinTeich  recorder

Leslie Orvis, Member/Chair 

Duane Swanson, Member 

Gary Valvoda, Member

Roberta Folkestad, Member