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Letter: Apply county land-use rules equally to all

To the Editor:

Goodhue County is facing some huge issues: frac sand mining, the future of Hidden Valley Campground and many others.

In the midst of the big issues, the “little” issues shouldn’t be overlooked, because they are big to those whom they affect. Issues like continuing to grant building permits when a section is already 25 percent over the limit. Issues like allowing people to have occupancy of a residence for years without a certificate of occupancy. Issues like allowing people to dump and store dozens of junk cars in neighborhoods.

In Section 5 Vasa Township, the Land-use Management Zoning Department isn’t doing its job. The section is zoned for 12 houses and currently has 15. The office is considering issuing another permit.

If you asked them, they’d say it’s a replacement permit. The problem is, when house N15 was built, the permit states that house 14 was to be torn down. It was not. Now house may be built — with the stipulation that house 14 again will be “altered or moved so that it’s not livable.”

Actually, they clarified, people can live there but not have one of either a bathroom or a kitchen. The place could be rented they say.

These three houses were originally a part of the same property before all the shenanigans started. Sounds like a housing development to me.

Zoning staff have selectively applied and upheld the rules, ordinances and laws in this (and other) sections. That’s illegal and discriminatory. These staff should be replaced.

Continuing to issue building permits when the section is overfull and the neighbors are united in their opposition is wrong. It’s up to the county attorney to do the right thing. We hope he will.

Julie and Rick Eastling