County commissioners have given final plat approval for the first phase of Sher Plat 1, a housing development on about 393 acres, planned by the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe in Kathio Township.
The approval comes after preliminary approval was given by commissioners at their July 3, 2012, meeting.
The first phase is for 57 of the planned 83 lots on a site west of Mille Lacs Lake.
The site is in the general vicinity of a previous development of 80 acres that was begun in 2007 on trust land near the Kathio Township Hall.
The Mille Lacs County Planning Commission, with no written correspondence and no public comment at a public hearing during its April 8 meeting, had voted unanimously to recommend approval of the request, with five conditions.
One of those conditions, which called for an updated title opinion to be provided to the county, was deleted when commissioners approved the plat at their May 7 meeting. An updated title had been provided to the county earlier that day.
The property involved is in application to become trust land for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.
During the April Planning Commission meeting, there was a discussion about utility easements at the site.
County Engineer Bruce Cochran expressed a concern that he would need to move power poles if the county road there was expanded. He did not want the county to bear that expense, he said.
Mike Moilanen, director of planning and project development for the Band of Ojibwe, had objected to deeding an additional 50 feet of utility easement at the site.
Minutes from the Planning Commission meeting read that it was suggested that the conditions be worded in such a way that the applicant and Public Works director (Cochran) work together to address the utility easement and inspection requirements.
LaVon Ziegler, Planning Commission member, asked Moilanen if the homes at the development would be sold only to tribal members or also to the public.
Moilanen answered that no decision had been made regarding the target market for home sales.
The final plat approval granted last week gives the Band of Ojibwe the right to begin road construction and utilities work.
Board gives OK to other recommendations
The County Board approved three other Planning Commission recommendations at its May 7 meeting.
One was for an amendment to a 2004 conditional use permit to Kraemer Mining & Materials to allow a temporary asphalt plant in Bradbury Township south of Onamia. The permit runs through Oct. 1, 2013.
Another was a request by Todd Brown for the subdivision of a parcel in Hayland Township adjacent to the Groundhouse River.
The third was a request by Dan and Paula Perron for a conditional use permit for an accessory structure without a dwelling in Isle Harbor Township.