HUGO — A couple of residents visited the City Council to voice their concerns with a possible vacation of a drainage and utility easement during a pubic hearing June 3. 

Resident Steve Bona requested the vacation of the easement located over his property at 12812 Ethan Ave. N. City Planner Rachel Juba explained two parcels were platted as part of the Woods of Bald Eagle Lake development in 1998. At that time, the properties were deemed unbuildable but were still platted as lots. 

Bona is working with city staff to combine the two parcels to make one buildable lot. The areas for the easements need to be revised to be over the new floodplain areas and removed from the grading areas, and new drainage and utility easements will be placed on the lots at the time the of the easement vacation. 

“There is substantial drainage from the street that does come onto my property and I am wondering what study has been done to determine how vacation of this easement will impact the surrounding properties,” resident Kristen Larson said. 

City Engineer Mark Erichson explained, “There is an analysis that we look at to make sure that we are not causing any adverse impacts to any adjacent properties. Similar to all of our development work that we look at, we review the applicant’s proposed work to ensure that there aren’t any adverse impacts and that we are meeting all the rules.” 

Resident Rajkumar Alexander said he shared the same concern as Larson. “I have noticed since work has been done there that there is more water coming on to my property and what used to be grass has turned into squishy ground. I know the water level has been higher this year, but this was a problem last year too. If there is more fill, I feel like that is going to impact my property,” he said.

City Administrator Bryan Bear explained, “Everywhere in the city has got increased water this year, in particular the area that flows into Bald Eagle Lake has got more additional water than normal because for the first time in a long time it has got water discharging into it from White Bear Lake.” Bear added city staff would have no problem doing field visits with concerned property owners to ensure there isn’t a problem. The council ultimately approved the vacation. 

Shannon Granholm

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