County board gives Corinna Township lakeshore authority


Former Wright County Commissioner Ken Jude was someone who stood tall on principle. During his term as commissioner, there were plenty of 4-1 county board votes. Gamblers could safely wager that, if there was a 4-1 vote, Jude was just as likely to be the one on the back of the four-to-one vote.
Following his time on the county board, Jude was elected to the Corinna Township Board. When the township butted heads with the county back in 2005 about land-use issues, Jude proposed that the township had every legal right to do its own planning and zoning.
It wasn’t unique. Woodland and Stockholm townships both had planning and zoning authority. But those townships are almost devoid of lakes. Corinna Township is comprised almost by nearly as many water acres as land acres. Therein lay the problem.
In 2006, Corinna Township officials and residents brought the issue of being allowed to do their own planning and zoning to the county board. 
Seven years later, effectively all the township had accomplished was to get the county to allow it to do the standard planning and zoning operations – permits for buildings, septic systems and the like. When it came to shoreland management, the county dismissed their efforts.
By state law, counties are authorized to handle planning and zoning issues. In order for a township to take on its own P&Z authority, it has to demonstrate that it can provide the expertise to be trusted with maintaining established land-use standards. When it comes to shoreland management and the potential aquatic catastrophes that can take place, Wright County was hesitant to give up that authority. Extremely hesitant.
More information appears in this week's Messenger.