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Mille Lacs County, Minnesota

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Senator Resigns
No Privatization
OK House
If you tell...
Marching On
Bad Ordinance
Penny wise
Spot Zoning
MLA 911 Calls
Onamia Charges
Councilman Resigns
Commissioners Fail
Bad Board
A Change in Plans
Playing  Hardball
Referendum Passes
Annexation Rejected
D'Angelo Attacks
NEXUS' Sewer
Abatement  Denied
Privatization in Peril
City Conflicts
Land Deal Extended
Deadline Approaches
Neighbors Gear Up
Nexus Plans Unveiled
Sex Offender Escapes
Exemption Denied
Nexus CEO Resigns
Is Nexus On Attack?
Nexus Awaits
Nexus Pursues
Mayor Bullies
Nexus Caught?
Bradbury Petition
Council Snubs
Nexus Steals Home
Nexus Threatens


From: Onamia Area Citizens for Responsible Growth

To: Mayor Larry Milton and the Onamia Council- 1/30/08

Spot Zoning

Spot zoning is defined as reclassification of a parcel of land in a manner inconsistent with the existing zoning patterns of the area for the benefit of the owner and to the detriment of the community without any substantial public purpose.

Spot zoning occurs when an individual lot or small area is signaled out for "discriminatory or different treatment from that accorded surrounding land which is similar in character." Gullickson v. Stark County Comm'rs , 474 N.W.2d 890, 894 (N.D. 1991) (quoting 2 E. Yokley, Zoning Law & Practice §13-2 (4th ed. 1978)).

"'A zoning ordinance, or amendment, which singles out and reclassifies a relatively small tract owned by a single [owner] and surrounded by a much larger area uniformly zoned, so as to impose upon the small tract greater restrictions than those imposed upon the larger area, or so as to relieve the small tract from restrictions to which the rest of the area is subjected, is called "spot zoning." It is beyond the authority of the municipality, in the absence of a clear showing of a reasonable basis for such distinction.'" Gullickson, 474 N.W.2d at 894. The characteristics of spot zoning include: 1) The use is different from the prevailing use of the area; 2) the area rezoned is small, and; 3) the classification benefits a particular landowner. 8 McQuillin, § 25.83 at 307 (J. Jeffery Reinholtz and Timothy P. Burr, eds.1991). A relevant inquiry is whether the ordinance is solely for the benefit of a landowner or "whether it is pursuant to a comprehensive plan for the general welfare of the community." Id. §25.84 at 320.


1. The parcel of land is being reclassified in a manner inconsistent with the existing zoning patterns of the area.

2. The parcel of land is being reclassified for the benefit of the owner and to the detriment of the community.

3. The parcel of land is being reclassified without any substantial public purpose.

4. The individual area, 38.81 acres is signaled out for "discriminatory or different treatment from that accorded surrounding land which is similar in character. "

a. The use is different from the prevailing use of the area

b. The area rezoned is small

c. The classification benefits a particular landowner


In this case, the parcel is not contiguous to other R2 property and is inconsistent with surrounding properties' current zoning classifications and land use. The reclassification of this property benefits the owner, is a detriment to the community, and serves no public purpose.

The reclassification of this property constitutes

Spot Zoning.

Furthermore, the proposed rezoning is discriminatory. It is not compatible with present or future land use. It is arbitrary and capricious.

The proposed sex offender facility is under restrictions dictated by the Minnesota Department of Corrections. Limitations, due to correctional facility restrictions singles out benefits to this property owner while being injurious and prohibitive to surrounding property owners.

Onamia Municipal Comprehensive Plan, Planning Commission, and Board of Adjustment.

Nonfeasance: In 1999, the Onamia city council failed to establish a Planning Commission and Board of Adjustments as mandated by revised city ordinances. The purpose of the Planning Commission is to establish a Municipal Comprehensive Plan, and act as advisors to the city council in matters of responsible planning and growth. The Onamia city council has been operating on its own, without public representation or input, for the past nine years.

Malfeasance: The day after a concerned citizen notified City Hall that this nonfeasance has become known, the city council had their lawyer write an ordinance declaring the city council as Planning Commission and Board of Adjustment. It was passed immediately. The concept of this ordinance is contrary to the 1999 ordinance and acts without accordance to the spirit of Minnesota State Law which provides a system of checks and balances.

This monopolization by combining the Planning Commission, the Board of Adjustment, and City Council also usurps the authority of citizens to determine the future of their town by establishing a Community Planning Commission, such as the Visioning Committee currently working towards this goal with grants from the Initiate Foundation. Under 1999 ordinance, the mayor shall appoint and could have appointed several of these citizens to a Planning Commission - to act as an advisory to the city council.

The mayor and city council have ignored the city's own ordinances, undermined the rights and efforts of its citizenry, and committed malfeasance. They have abused the power of their public office.

Other reasons to halt the reclassification of the Nexus Property

1. This reclassification cannot be pursuant to the Comprehensive Plan because Onamia lacks a current Municipal Comprehensive Plan.

2. This request for rezoning is premature.

a. Utilities and infrastructure are not in place

b. Proposed utilities and infrastructure will accommodate only the owner of the property and will not serve the community.

c. Nexus has not submitted current building plans to the city council/planning commission/board of adjustments to consider before making their decision. The weight of this decision bears enormous responsibility and should not be treated in such an arbitrary and capricious manner.

3. The amending, writing or rewriting of the zoning ordinances is a blatant attempt by the City Council to circumvent existing laws in order to spot zone for the benefit of the owner and to the detriment of the community.

a. "When any condition imposed by any provision of this Ordinance on the use of land or buildings or on the bulk of buildings is either more restrictive or less restrictive than similar conditions imposed by any provision of any other City ordinance or regulation, the more restrictive conditions shall prevail." [Section 23. SUBD1.A.]

b. Under Criteria for granting conditional use permits, [Section 21 SUBD. 10] the City Council shall consider the advice and recommendation of the Planning Commission and the effect of the proposed use upon the health, safety, and general welfare of occupants of surrounding lands. Again, the City Council is in violation of Ordinance Section 21 SUBD. 7. [Section 22. SUBD. 1 A. 1]

4. Rezoning this parcel R2 in order to allow Nexus, a private corporation to build and operate an institution for convicted juvenile sex offenders is a prima facie violation of Minnesota Statute 462.354.

5. A person who knowingly violates a provision or rule of zoning regulations adopted by any town board pursuant to sections 366.10 to 366.18 is guilty of a misdemeanor. [Minnesota Statute 366.181]

The following findings are applicable:_________________

a. That the conditional use will be injurious to the use and enjoyment of other property in the immediate vicinity for the purposes already permitted, and will substantially diminish and impair property values within the immediate vicinity.

b. The rezoning and erection of the sexual offender facility will impede the normal and orderly development and improvement of surrounding vacant property for uses predominant in the area.

c. The use is not consistent with the purposes of the zoning code and the purposes of the zoning district in which the applicant intends to locate the proposed use.

d. The use will cause traffic hazard and congestion.

e. Existing businesses nearby will be adversely affected because of curtailment of customer trade brought about by intrusion of noise, glare, general unsightliness as well as safety issues.

f. The proposed sex offender facility constitutes a nuisance and will cause disturbances to neighboring properties as a result.


"All uses shall comply with all federal, state, and local pollution and nuisance laws and regulations including, but not limited to glare, smoke, dust, odors, and noise. The burden of proof for compliance of appropriate performance standards shall lie with the applicant." [Onamia City Ordinance Section 20 SUBD. 14]

a. Nexus CEO Jim D'Angelo said that nobody wants to live next to the sex offender institution because of "the traffic, the noise, and the boys. "

b. Mille Lacs Academy Executive Director Paul Smith, when asked why he commutes from Foley instead of living in the Onamia community said that he "prefers to live in the country" and does not want to be "near ..... a school."

c. Over 60% of Mille Lacs Academy employees live outside the county.

d. Every adjacent property owner to the proposed R2 rezoning site agrees that they also don't want the traffic, the noise, and the boys, prefer to live in the country, and don't want to be near a school.

e. Nexus has not met the burden of proof for compliance of appropriate standards, but have themselves admitted that their sex offender institution is a nuisance.

Minnesota Statute 561.01 Nuisance; Action

"Anything which is injurious to health, or indecent or offensive to the senses, or an obstruction to the free use of property, so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property, is a nuisance. An action may be brought by any person whose property is injuriously affected or whose personal enjoyment is lessened by the nuisance, and by the judgment the nuisance may be enjoined or abated, as well as damages recovered."


By amending the zoning ordinances for the sole purpose of supporting one specific commercial business - Nexus/Nexus Diversified, a private corporation based in Golden Valley, Minnesota; and allowing them to construct a large multi-building institution for convicted sex offenders in a Rl zoned residential community where elderly, infirm, disabled citizens, and children live; in close proximity of three daycare centers; the total disregard for the public health, safety, and welfare of its residents and the environment of the City as well as the surrounding area; failure to consider a petition by people who will be directly and adversely affected by this institution in this location; and against the will of The People - who have received no benefit from this, who have been harmed financially, mentally, emotionally, and physically; and who have openly opposed this misguided, ill-conceived project from the moment they found out about it -

We find the Onamia Mayor Larry E. Milton and Councilmen Bill Hill Jr., Bob Mickus, Mark Loch, Jerome Kryzer, and Zoning Administrator Mickey Carter, have made grave mistakes and intentionally acted against citizens, and we hereby file a grievance against them for the record.


a history of improper procedure, removal of citizens' Right to Due Process; the lack of providing a Comprehensive Plan, the failure to establish an independent Planning Commission, and Board of Adjustment; while manipulating ordinances, circumventing and in prima facie violation of the law, including the Open Meeting Law; while misinforming and misleading the public, operating in reckless disregard for the safety of its citizens; for abusing its power while acting as an agent for a corporation instead of protecting citizens whose rights for the pursuit of happiness and self-determination have been greatly and significantly violated, and for nonfeasance, misfeasance, and malfeasance of the Onamia Mayor and City Council, we hereby call for your resignations.

The Onamia Area Citizens for Responsible Growth -

January 30, 2008



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