Yet another Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) document related to the denial of five petitions for annexation of land to the City of Ortonville in Big Stone County has been made available. Bluestem Prairie posts it below for the public interest.
As we noted in earlier "Quarry quandary" posts, Quarry quandary: OAH denies part of Ortonville annexation of land under township moratorium and Quarry quandary II: OAH denies 5 annexation petitions; fate of Big Stone County mine in limbo, the OAH decisions are the latest incidences in the attempt by Strata Corporation, a North Dakota mining company, to open a blast-and-crush granite quarry among granite outcrops in Ortonville Township.
After residents of the township brought concerns to the board, the township supervisors imposed a moratorium while they wrote zoning and planning ordinances. Big Stone County's commissioners voted to permit the quarry; to get around the moratorium, the landowner divided his property among relatives, then petitioned the City of Ortonville to annex the site.
While the denial and moratorium for the moment prevent the project from going forward, the long-term consequences of the OAH judge's decision are unknown to Bluestem at this time.
Headwaters of the Minnesota River, Big Stone County is on the Minnesota-South Dakota border, directly west of the Twin Cities.
The memorandum begins:
Two issues, scope of review and determination of property ownership, have arisen in the six matters comprising the City of Ortonville's (City) filings for annexation by ordinance under Minn. Stat. 414.033, Subd. 2(3). The factual background includes the ordinances passed by the City, the objection by Ortonville Township (Township), and the requested additional information received from the City and Petitioners.
The urban or suburban character of the Subject Area is outside the jurisdiction of the OAH in proceedings under annexation by ordinance. The OAH must determine that the jurisdictional requirements for an annexation by ordinance are met before an ordinance is approved. The OAH cannot conduct a hearing regarding disputes over the propriety of an annexation by ordinance. Where the presented facts show that there is a jurisdictional defect, the ordinance must be denied.
Docket No. A-7829 has been approved as there are no procedural defects present.
Dockets Nos. A-7830, A-7831, A-7832, A-7833, and A-7834 have been denied as the City did
not receive petitions for annexation from all of the property owners as required by Minn. Stat. 414.033, subd. 2(3).
Here's the document:
Photo: Someone got their wish (for the moment): an anti-annexation sign in Ortonville, Fall 2012. Photo by Sally Jo Sorensen.
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