Regular Planning Commission


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Meeting Date: 09/23/2021  
By: Brian McCann, Community Development

PUBLIC HEARING: Consider Request for a Variance to Fence Height for 15337 Nowthen Blvd NW (Project 21-133); Case of Kristina Myhers
The City received an application for a variance from Kristina Myhers (the "Applicant") to exceed fence height standards in the front yard of her residential property. The subject property is generally located northeast of the intersection of Nowthen Boulevard and Alpine Drive (the "Subject Property").  
The City attempted to notify Property Owners, as reflected in the Anoka County Property Records, within 350 feet of the Subject Property of the request.
Kristina Myhers (the "Applicant") has properly applied for a variance to the fence height standard for front yards in the R-1 (Rural Developing) Residential District at 15337 Nowthen Blvd NW (the "Subject Property"). The request is to exceed fence height near the front entrance of their property from the allowed four (4) feet standard, to a height of six (6) feet.

Project History
The Applicant previously contacted the City and applied for a zoning permit for the fence - permit RA048649. After an initial review was conducted by Staff, it was noted that the proposed height was six (6) feet, and the fence would be placed at the front property line. Staff reached out to the Applicant and discussed alternatives including lowering the fence height, different placement of the fence, or the variance option. The Applicant is an active fence contractor, and has been involved with numerous fence projects throughout the City. The Applicant has been cooperative and understanding with City Staff, but the Applicant and City Staff feel that the best course of action is an approved variance compared to other alternatives, to limit disturbances to their property.

When contemplating a variance, a three (3) factor test must be applied to determine practical difficulties:
  1. Reasonableness - This request seems reasonable due to a number of factors. The applicant stated they are consistently bothered by wandering wildlife, and traffic near the intersection of Nowthen Blvd and Alpine Dr. The applicant has also stated that several cars have entered their property under the assumption that they were continuing on Nowthen Blvd; a larger fence will help mitigate potential intrusions onto the subject property.
  2. Uniqueness - The property is unique due to the proximity to Nowthen Blvd and Alpine Dr. There are only a few residential properties located near that intersection, and the intersection sees many vehicles passing daily. The applicant has also stated that travelers often confuse their driveway as a continuation of Nowthen Blvd NW, and are prone to enter the property without permission.
  3. Essential Character - Staff does not feel that the request will alter the essential character of the neighborhood. The request will actually conform to the neighborhood, since the neighbor to the south has a six (6) foot fence installed with a granted variance from 2014.
City Code Sections
Section 117-53. - Variances
Section 117-111. - R-1 Residential District
Funding Source:
The Applicant is responsible for all costs associated with this request.
Staff recommends adopting Resolution #21-253 granting a variance to fence height requirements for the front yard on the Subject Property.
Motion to adopt Resolution #21-253 granting a variance to fence height requirements for the front yard on the Subject Property.

Site Location Map
Exhibits from Applicant
Property on City Map
ACTION - Resolution #21-253

Form Review
Inbox Reviewed By Date
Bruce Westby Bruce Westby 09/17/2021 09:41 AM
Form Started By: Brian McCann Started On: 08/26/2021 11:35 AM
Final Approval Date: 09/17/2021


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