The Winona County Planning Commission unanimously voted Thursday night to approve a conditional use permit submitted by a Dakota couple that will allow them to build a replacement dwelling in an area with shoreland and floodplain restrictions. Brian and Caryn Stremcha sought the permit to rebuild their home in New Hartford Township that was lost in a fire in March 2012.
“We can’t help that the fire took our home away, but we’d like to continue staying here because we’ve raised our four kids here,” Caryn Stremcha said. “It’s been quite an adjustment and we’re living day to day.”
The proposed home would be located on the same lot, approximately 250 feet from Pine Creek, which is also a designated tributary stream. The replacement dwelling will comply with the Winona County Zoning Ordinance requirement to meet a 100-foot setback because of its proximity to a high water table. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources assisted the Stremchas during the application process to address any issues with the home being located in a floodplain.
The application states the home will be built at an elevation of one foot above the regulatory flood elevation, as required by the DNR. Winona County Zoning Administrator Eric Johnson said once the home is completed, the Stremchas must obtain a certificate that states the home meets the regulated flood protection plan.
“They have to make sure a professional comes in to certify that the lowest floor of the home is built above the floodplain elevation,” Johnson explained. “The petitioners have submitted a plan that appears to meet this requirement.”
Caryn Stremcha said the family is planning to construct a three-bedroom home with an unfinished basement and finished first floor.