Litchfield City Hall

City Council meets at City Hall at 126 N. Marshall Ave.

Litchfield City Council rejected a conditional use permit application last week that called for construction of a twin home on Cottonwood Avenue in the northeast part of town.

City Administrator David Cziok — stepping in for council member Eric Mathwig, who excused himself because of a potential conflict of interest — said the Planning Commission recommended a “soft denial” of the application. Even though a twin home fits in current city zoning of the area, it did not fit the “existing character,” Cziok said, of the single-family homes in the area.

At-large council member Ron Dingmann said the twin home proposed by Litchfield Opportunity Zone Inc. was “a beautiful looking structure.” However, opposition from three or four homeowners in the area — and support from none — swayed him to vote against the conditional use permit.

During Planning Commission discussion a week earlier, commissioners worried about the precedent that might be set by allowing a twin home in the neighborhood.

David Tysk of Eden Prairie, a partner in Litchfield Opportunity Zone, attended the City Council meeting but did not speak. He did, however, express disappointment to the Planning Commission upon its decision to deny the conditional use permit.

The proposal, for the twin home to bridge two lots, Tysk said, was completely consistent with the existing character of the neighborhood.

“I’d really like to see us work forward with something like this,” Dingmann said “But I have a hard time with the four people who are against it right now.”

In the end, the council vote 5-0 (with Mathwig abstaining and Vern Loch Jr. absent) to deny the permit application.

In other action:

  • The City Council approved a tax parcel split request from Kim Olson of Re/Max and Barb Nelson, owner of property at 61961 U.S. Highway 12. Olson explained that the land is in a trust between Nelson and her son, and the split will allow for easier disposition of the land in the future.
  • Litchfield Opportunity Zone Inc.’s request for a tax parcel split received approval on a 6-0 vote. The 24.5-acre property sits along County State Aid Highway 34, just north of CSAH 11. The split creates a 14.57-acre Parcel A and a 10-acre Parcel B. The land straddles R-1 residential zone and an A-1 agriculture preservation zone.
  • A tobacco license application from Monir AM Amro of Maplewood was unanimously rejected, because the applicant did not provide any Meeker County references.

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