Friday March 14, 2008
No Ordinary Ordinance
Mille Lacs News Staff Writer
When the Onamia city council sets forth to
"git 'er done" for Nexus, nothing will stop them. Not even the Law. In order
to circumvent Spot Zoning, somewhere along they way, they decided to zone
the property R2 and amend an ordinance to allow juvenile sex offender
facilities as a permitted use in a single family residential zone. That
462.357 subdivision 7 clearly states that "a residential
facility whose primary purpose is to treat juveniles who have violated
criminal statutes relating to sex offenses or have been adjudicated
delinquent on the basis of conduct in violation of criminal statutes
relating to sex offenses shall not be considered a permitted use."
They went back to the drawing board.
They once again hired Bob Ruppe, the city attorney to amend
another ordinance which would allow a sex offender facility into a R2 zone
under a conditional use permit.
Onamia Ordinance No. 82 subdivision 4 - Conditional Uses.
"D. Residential treatment and educational facility for
minors who have been adjudicated as sex offenders or have committed felony
level sex offences that have been referred to the facility by the juvenile
courts, county social services departments, probation officers and social
Compare Onamia's ordinance which permits sex offenders to State Law which
forbids them. State law forbids putting these kind of sex offender
facilities into residential areas as permitted use. So the Onamia city
council allowed them into residential areas as conditional use.
But that doesn't work either.
Minnesota Statute 462.357 subdivision 8 goes on to say
that: "Except as otherwise provided in subdivision 7 or in any town,
municipal or county zoning regulation as authorized by this subdivision, a
state licensed residential facility serving from 7 through 16 persons or a
licensed day care facility serving from 13 through 16 persons shall be
considered a permitted multifamily residential use of property for purposes
The Onamia city
council might misinterpret that part of the law to say that they have the
power to zone sex offenders into a residential area, but that just isn't so.
The law is giving the city council the power to prohibit a licensed
residential facility or day care. Not to zone for the inclusion of 94
juvenile sex offenders! The law is very specific about juvenile sex offender
facilities not being permitted into residential neighborhoods. The Onamia
city council and their lawyer got it ass-backwards.
Our neighborhood is zoned R1, except for
the inappropriately R2 zoned Nexus property. Nexus should be zoned
institutional or commercial. Spot zoning.
Also note that the law is very definite about the number of
persons allowed in a day care facility. Sixteen maximum. And yet, Onamia is
trying to put 94 convicted juvenile sex offenders into the R1 neighborhood.
Don't you wonder what they're going to do with the other 78 sex offenders?
Maybe its not too late. Perhaps Nexus would consider selling
the 38.81 acres back to the city so that the council could build a licensed
day care facility serving a small group of
governmentally retarded adults.