The Langseth family fight against the dust on the road to the lodge

Alan, Carol, Jamie and Justin Langseth all spoke at the public hearing, while another girl, Jennifer Hieb, submitted her comments via email to Planning and Zoning Administrator Kathy Henderschiedt .

In their request for an early review of a permit granted last September, the Alan Langseth family said Paul Langseth was violating the conditions of the permit – mainly dust control.

When the permit was granted, there was a condition that Paul was to apply water on 280th Street from Sundberg Avenue West to the private driveway leading to Langseth Lodge during any event in which 20 or more people are accommodated in the cabin. Paul said Wednesday night he misunderstood the requirements. He believed that the water only needed to be applied when he rented the lodge, not for other events on his property.

During the nearly two-hour discussion, Henderschiedt told Paul Langseth that any event on his property with 20 or more people – even if it is his own family reunion – is governed by the CUP, and that he must meet the conditions whether the cabin is rented or not.

Jamie Langseth was the first to speak at the public hearing, denouncing the dust created by vehicles traveling to and from the lodge, people entering Alan Langseth’s property on the north side of 280th Street (the Paul’s property is on the south side of 280th Street) and traffic all day long and late into the night.

She presented planning committee members with an assortment of photos of trails showing dust in the air, noting specific times and dates, and whether or not her uncle had applied water on the road to those. dates.

While Jamie said she didn’t have a problem with single-family stays at the chalet, her concerns were with larger groups. She mentioned three specific dates – October 10, 2020, when more than 50 students were on hand for an archery event hosted by Paul that did not involve a cabin rental; October 18, 2020, when Roger Langseth (brother of Paul and Alan) and his family stayed at the chalet; and May 21-24, when a quartet of sisters rented the cabin and invited their families over for Saturday. Paul did not provide dust control for the first two events, and she said it was insufficient for the third.

Jamie also noted that at one point she found a guest from the lodge standing near the high voltage electric fence on her parents’ property and expressed concerns about her liability if someone was injured on their property. ground. The fence is for their family’s cattle.

Justin Langseth complained about how the dust affected the eyes of his cattle, which are raised for show cattle, and said nighttime traffic was disruptive.

“We don’t want to live next to everyone’s cabin,” he said. “I understand they’re on vacation, but this is where we live.

Justin said the lodge is a single family home on a lake – not a resort – and argued that the condition allowing maximum occupancy not to exceed 20 overnight guests at the cottage and 100 guests at an event was too much. high.

“That’s a ridiculous number of people for this place,” he said. “(Paul would hire him) to 100 people every day if he could. This is not the purpose of the Agriculture Preservation District – nor is it what a dead end road is.

Hieb said in his email that although Paul Langseth told the commission last August that he would not rent the cabin to people he didn’t know, she discovered it listed on VRBO, a marketplace. vacation rental online by owner this spring.

“From the start he lied about his intentions with this property,” she said.

Hieb’s request was that more conditions be placed on the permit, that existing conditions be clarified, that a shorter deadline be set for re-evaluating the permit, and that clear consequences and fines be put in place when conditions are not met. not met. Other family members echoed these requests.

“He’s already violated the terms you gave him,” Jamie added. “I want to live in the middle of nowhere. I want my garden. I want to raise my cattle. His desire to have a rental property shouldn’t outweigh my desire to be left alone.

Henderschiedt told commission members that more conditions cannot be added to an existing permit, but existing conditions can be changed. Six were in place when the permit was granted, but neighbors only addressed two of them – dust control and maximum occupancy.

Commission member Marty Rickers, who visited the site last month and observed the dust, said water was not enough and something more substantial should be used to reduce it.

Henderschiedt suggested Langseth use calcium chloride, magnesium chloride or some type of environmentally friendly soy product to control dust. However, as Vande Kamp pointed out, the planning committee cannot dictate how dust control is handled.

“I don’t think you have the power to tell the township what to do with the road,” said Vande Kamp. “For you to say he has to put calcium chloride down is overriding the township authority.” “

Henderschiedt said the commission previously imposed conditions on permits regarding dust control, especially for gravel pits, but that it is at the discretion of the landowner or township on the product used. An amended condition was approved requiring dust control to be in place by May 1 of each year on 830 feet of 280th Street, which is the entire property line of Al Langseth, plus 100 feet from each next to it.

Henderschiedt also asked Paul Langseth to remove the availability of on-site motorhome camping from his VRBO list, as this requires a separate permit that he does not have.

While the Alan Langseth family wanted more restrictions on the occupation, the commission took no action to change this condition of the permit.

As for their other requests, Nobles County District Attorney Joe Sanow said some of the issues raised by the Alan Langseth family were civil matters and did not relate to the conditional use license. Responding to a request that Paul Langseth not advertise the lodge on VRBO or other online option for large events or weddings, Sanow said the county was not preventing him from operating his business.

Additionally, as the commission could not create new conditions on the permit, board chairman Dave Thier advised Paul Langseth to consider some of the requests made by the Alan Langseth family on Wednesday evening.

“While we may not have the power to control some of the issues here tonight, is there a way for you to take a more active role in … stressing the need to control traffic and be more respectful of intrusion panels? Thier asked Paul Langseth. “I think it’s in your best interests to lighten up as much as you can. Our hands are tied.

Carol Langseth, who at one point during the meeting suggested that Paul create a separate road to the cabin, asked if there was any repercussions if he didn’t meet the conditions of the permit.

“If you are a farmer, there are consequences for you to do what you have been told not to do,” she said. “(Otherwise) we just keep going over the line and doing more and more.

“There has to be a clear definition of the end of his property and ours. Everyone should stay on their side of the road and stop spilling onto ours. ”

The amended permit will be forwarded to the Nobles County Board of Commissioners for review at its next meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. on Tuesday.


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