Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Judge hears arguments over Dead Lake project

Otter Tail County commissioners acted appropriately when they ruled an environmental impact study wasn't necessary for a housing development on Dead Lake, an attorney told Judge Galen Vaa Monday.

Otter Tail County commissioners acted appropriately when they ruled an environmental impact study wasn't necessary for a housing development on Dead Lake, an attorney told Judge Galen Vaa Monday.

Mike Rengel, a Fergus Falls attorney representing the county, also asked Vaa to dismiss a lawsuit brought by the Dead Lake Association, which opposes the Blue Heron Bay Project.

Attorneys representing the lake association told Vaa the county's decision not to require an impact study was arbitrary and capricious.

After hearing from both sides, Vaa said he would allow a week for the parties to file additional papers before taking the matter under advisement.

Last year, the lake association filed suit in Otter Tail County District Court after county commissioners decided in March that only an environmental assessment worksheet was necessary for the project, which calls for building 138 housing units on 250 acres.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lake association also filed a lawsuit with the Minnesota Court of Appeals, challenging the conditional use permit the county granted the project's developer, the R. Murray Partnership.

The permit issue is scheduled to be heard Feb. 2, according to Rengel.

Bob Deutschman, Dead Lake Association president, said the organization has been holding fund-raisers to pay for the legal battle and it will continue.

"We're carrying it through," he said.

Jim Erickson, spokesman for the development company, said he was pleased with Monday's court proceeding.

"We believe Judge Vaa fully understands the extensive review that the Otter Tail County Planning Commission and board put into planning their decision not to require an EIS," Erickson said.

"The facts fully support that conclusion and we believe the judge will clearly see it that way," he said.

Dead Lake is located south of Dent, Minn., in Otter Tail County.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lake association contends the lake is too shallow and environmentally fragile to handle the boat traffic the development would generate.

Erickson has said the project will set the standard for environmentally friendly development.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
What To Read Next
Crisis pregnancy centers received almost $3 million in taxpayer funds in 2022. Soon, sharing only medically accurate information could be a prerequisite for funding.
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Katie Steller, founder of the Steller Kindness Project and the Red Chair Project. She is also the CEO of Steller Hair Co. in Minneapolis.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack advises a reader to consider visiting a doctor who specializes in senior care.
Host Bryan Piatt is joined by Connor Johnson to discuss his experience with recovery and emerging from the grips of alcohol addiction.