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City hearing on zoning for annexed property (02/10/2013)
By Chris Rogers

The City of Winona Planning Commission will host two public hearings at its next meeting on Monday, February 11, at 4:30 p.m. in the council chambers of the Winona City Hall. On the agenda are new rules for bed and breakfasts and the zoning of recently annexed property in Pleasant Valley, located near County Road 17 on the southern edge of Winona.

Twelve properties in Pleasant Valley were annexed by the city over the last few years under the 2005 Orderly Annexation Agreement (OAA) between the city of Winona and Wilson Township. The properties, located along County Road 17 and Valley View Drive, are mostly residential houses, but also included are two empty lots and Winona Golf and Dining (also known as Bridges Golf Club).

Under the OAA, property owners can individually opt to be annexed. Upon annexation, properties lose their former Wilson Township zoning; so some of the properties have been without zoning for more than a year.

City staff are recommending that most of the properties be zoned R-1 (One-Family Residential) and that two properties which are farther from town be zoned R-S (Residential-Suburban).

On Monday, the Planning Commission will hear public comments and could decide on recommendations to forward to the Winona City Council. Alternatively, the commission could put off making a recommendation. Whatever happens Monday, the City Council will make the final decision on the zoning of the properties.

New rules proposed for bed and breakfasts

The Winona Planning Commission has drafted new rules for bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) and tourist homes (essentially, bed and breakfasts without the breakfast). On Monday, January 28, the commission discussed amendments to ordinances and zoning regulations which would expand the properties and zoning districts allowed to have B&Bs and tourist homes.

The proposed amendments would strike the current requirement that B&Bs and tourist homes must have historical significance. If passed, the new rules would also allow B&Bs and tourist homes to house guests in buildings other than the hostís primary residence, provided they are still on the same lot. The current rules require guests stay in the hostís primary residence.

The discussed amendments would open up more zoning districts to B&Bs including Agricultural, Residential-Rural, and Residential-Suburban with a Conditional Use Permit (CUP). Currently, those businesses are only allowed in R-1, R-1.5, R-2, and R-3 districts.

The amendment would, however, require that all new B&Bís and tourist homes apply for a CUP from the Board of Adjustment. Currently, new B&Bs in R-2 zones are not required to obtain a CUP.



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