Landowner asks county to reconsider additional home

Property owner Scott Ramsdell asked the Moody County Commission last week to reconsider its decision to deny his family the option of building a third home west of town.
But State’s Attorney Paul Lewis said the 30-day time for an appeal had expired and that Ramsdell would either need to reapply for a variance to build the home or apply for the county’s preferred option of a planned residential development.  
“I’m still having a hard time understanding why a house is making a huge difference here. I can’t get a handle on what we’re trying to do and where we’re going with this thing,” Ramsdell said.
The family sought a variance Oct. 16 from the county board of adjustment, which is made up of county commissioners, to put a third house on a quarter-quarter section that is comprised of about 40 acres.
The county ordinance, which was adopted after Ramsdell bought the land in the late 1990s, says that a maximum of two homes are allowed. In October, the board members unanimously denied the request for a variance.
By building on the property, which he has developed for housing, no additional farmland would be taken out of production, Ramsdell said. He also said he hoped to keep his four children living in the community, which is why he wanted a third housing site for his daughter, Alison, and her husband, Jason Unger.
“I have spent a lot of money developing it,” he said of the property where he and one of his other daughters and her family live. The family is a farm family as owners of Dakota Layers. “Farming today is different. We are farmers. We farm livestock as you know,” he said.
Ramsdell said he is disappointed the county won’t allow a third house on the land. “I feel that your decision is a very poor decision,” he said. “You always have that opportunity to do a variance. I don’t foresee what detriment that house would have done to our county.”
The county has denied a request for a third house on a property before, commissioners said. They can’t approve one property owner’s request and not others, they said.
In other business at the Jan. 3 meeting,  
•Commissioners and re-elected county officials were sworn in. Rick Veldkamp was elected commission chairman, while Carla Bruning was chosen vice chair.
•Commission committee assignments also were made.
Newly elected commissioner John Schiefelbein said he wanted to serve as the commissioner assigned to the highway department because of his work experience in that area. But Veldkamp, who has been in that assigned spot, said he would like to continue working with the highway department.  
Commissioners voted to leave the board assignments as proposed with Schiefelbein voting no.


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