By Greg Hunt
Just because something was done wrong in the past still doesn’t make it right today. But try to tell the Isanti County Board of Adjustment and the Zoning Office that.
Louis Kryzanowski, a resident on Long Lake southwest of Isanti, attempted to do so last Thursday at the Board of Adjustment’s variance hearing regarding his neighbors Darlene and Scott Matthews’ water accessory building. The new 12-foot tall building, constructed on the same spot where a previous boat house stood, was allowed by the Board to remain in place despite the fact it is a mere 3.6-feet from Kryzanowski’s property line. The tall building dominates the view from Kryzanowski’s house and deck, along with the view of neighbors to the north.
The Board of Adjustment and Zoning Administrator Tim Anderson cited the Zoning Ordinance’s “grandfather” rule that since the new building was put on top of the existing slab, it should be allowed to remain. The latest ordinances require a 10-foot setback from property and shore lines for such a structure.
At Thursday’s hearing, Scott Matthews said he thought the building was 16-feet from the property line—a ridiculous statement since there’s a distinct treeline between the two places, along with a pile of his junk stretched out along the line. And because the new structure is built on extended footings to allow water to run underneath, the pre-existing slab is a moot point. The Matthews could have easily built the water building on the other (south) side of their yard—next to the neighbor with the unsided cabin and junk in the yard who obviously doesn’t care about a clean view.
The Zoning Office and the County Board need to take another long look at this situation where one neighbor is encroaching on the views and well-being of his fellow neighbors. The heck with the grandfather clause—follow the new ordinances instead.