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County Board rejects Bettendorf rezone request in the town of Kinnickinnic

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news River Falls, 54022
Hudson Star Observer
715-386-9891 customer support
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The St. Croix County Board voted last week to deny a request from John and Candace Bettendorf to rezone 4.82 acres in the town of Kinnickinnic from Agricultural-Residential to Commercial.

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The vote confirms action taken earlier by the county Planning and Zoning Committee, the Kinnickinnic Town Board and the Kinnickinnic Town Plan Commission.

County Planning and Zoning Committee Chairman Gene Ruetz said rezoning would have resulted in "illegal spot zoning."

He said the Bettendorfs can sell their trucking transfer business and have it moved off the property, but they can't sell the business on the property.

The Bettendorfs declined to comment at this point.

Over 30 years ago, the Bettendorfs started a carpet sales and installation business, which was located first in their basement and then in a pole building on their town of Kinnickinnic property. They got a special exception permit for that business.

In the mid-1980s they asked to have their land rezoned from Ag-Residential to Commercial to operate a trucking terminal.

At that time the County Board agreed to rezone the land, but only for the Bettendorfs' use. If they sold the land it would revert to Ag-Residential.

In 1990 the Bettendorfs applied for and got a special exception use permit to operate a truck repair and transfer point business. The Board of Adjustment approved that permit.

In 2004 when the Bettendorfs wanted to sell the business, they asked for a court judgment that they could transfer the special exception permit to a buyer.

Since then, appeals court decisions have found that the county acted improperly in rezoning the property just for the Bettendorfs' use. Appeals court judges declared both the rezoning and the subsequent special exception permit invalid.

Because the ordinance was invalid, the zoning reverted to Ag-Residential designation.

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