It’s a no go, for now

Proposed fire station for Twin Lakes rejected by Calhoun County Planning and Zoning Board

-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Nick Cochrane, the attorney for Dave Cassens, explains a set of changes to a proposed subdivision to the Calhoun County Planning and Zoning commission Tuesday afternoon. Cassens had applied to build a subdivison that would have included a lot for the Manson Fire Department to build a station at Twin Lakes as well as a 12,000-square-foot building for himself on another lot. The board voted not to amend the Comprehensive Land Use Plan to allow the zoning change. The report now goes to the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors.

ROCKWELL CITY — A planned fire station in Twin Lakes may have been stopped, at least for now, as a result of action by the Calhoun County Planning and Zoning Board.

The board voted 3-2 Tuesday to recommend rejecting a proposed change to the county’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan to allow rezoning a section north of Twin Lakes from agricultural use to residential use.

The vote called for blocking a proposed subdivision that would have allowed Dave Cassens to build a 60-by200-foot storage shed and the sale of another lot to the Manson Fire Department for use as a fire station for Twin Lakes.

About 30 people attended the board meeting, held in a courtroom in the Calhoun County Courthouse.

The board’s recommendation will now go to the Calhoun County Board of Supervisors at its July 9 meeting. The supervisors will at that time set a hearing date before making a final decision on the matter.

The proposed subdivision, called Cassens Subdivision, has been an ongoing issue.

Zoning Board Chairman Rick Peters said the issue has been objections from neighbors. And he claimed that initially, the board was not aware of what would be on the site.

“This plan has changed from what we were told would happen,” he said. “This is not what we told would happen.”

The latest plan for the subdivision included changes to meet previous concerns raised by the board and objections from neighboring landowners.

Attorney Nick Cochrane, speaking on behalf of Cassens, said those objections have been met.

Board member Katherine Linder objected.

“It doesn’t seem like residential,” she said. “I don’t see a residential purpose here at all. When we want a residential area we want a residential area.”

Manson Fire Department Assistant Fire Chief Dave Anderson countered her argument.

“Can you explain these then?” he said, handing out prints of storage buildings located along Sunset Lane, “These should be residential purposes.”

Linder replied to the images.

“I don’t know too many people who have a 200-foot-by 60-foot building for their own use,” she said.

Cochrane addressed that issue.

“This is an allowable use under current zoning law,” he said.

Linder suggested that the Manson Fire Department would be able to find other locations to build on in the area and be able to raise the needed funds to do so. Had Cassens Subdivision been approved, the department would have been offered a lot. The department already owns the equipment that would be housed at Twin Lakes.

“For five years we’ve been at this,” Anderson said. “We finally found something. I guess it’s up to the supervisors now.”

Cochrane also withdrew Cassens’ request for the subdivision during the meeting.