Welch Township

Property overview of the Welch Township sections for rezoning. Photo provided by Planning Advisory Commission.

After years of discussion, the Goodhue County Planning Advisory Commission is pushing for a rezoning of multiple urban fringe parcels in Welch Township and surrounding areas.

“I think the rezone will make further planning easier in the future,” Commissioner Darwin Fox said.

The request – initiated by Welch – includes rezoning all A-3 urban fringe parcels to A-2 agriculture within township lands west of Red Wing from the Wisconsin boundary to the Cannon River.

Samantha Pierret, zoning administrator, explained that the change is largely to help landowners become eligible to split their parcels into smaller properties.

“Staff is regularly contacted by property owners in A-3 zoned sections regarding splitting their property and building eligibility,” Pierret said. “Properties that are under 35-acres are not eligible to be split due to the 35-acre minimum lot size, which results in difficulties obtaining financing and selling homestead sites separate from agriculture or forest lands.”

A-3 zones are considered the urban fringe district because their purpose is to generate farming expansion in areas close to city centers.

However, A-3 property owners cannot construct dwellings or structures on lots smaller than 35 acres, leading to low housing development and population size.

In A-2 zones, a higher dwelling density is allowed for areas that have scattered large farms and feedlots, leaving room for more non-farm small parcels.

If rezoned to A-2, 12 single family dwellings are allowed within each section in the township. Sections are of varying sizes in each township.

Section overviews provided by the Planning Advisory Commission.

During the Jan.10 advisory meeting, members agreed to push the request forward and recommended that the Goodhue County Board approve the rezoning.

County Board members have final say in this decision and will discuss it in a future meeting.

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