The Orono City Council passed Ordinance No. 96, Third Series, “An Interim Ordinance Temporarily Prohibiting Certain Accessory Structures and Uses” on November 13, 2012. This moratorium prohibits the installation by residents, or approval by city staff, of any accessory use or structure not presently regulated by the City of Orono code until September 1, 2013. This moratorium is written in such a manner that any existing and open building permit application related to non-listed accessory uses or structures, no matter when it was submitted (could be 20+ years old), cannot be approved by city staff. Basically, what this moratorium does is prevent any residential property owner from installing a mailbox, basketball hoop, light pole, clothesline, hot tub, etc., all summer long, during the building season. Even the title of this moratorium is a misnomer as the word “Certain” applies to an unlimited list of accessory uses not listed in the code.
The City of Orono has once again filed for summary judgment against the Nygards and their Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, even though the city lost big at the Minnesota Court of Appeals and chose not pursue the matter to the Supreme Court. It is easy to deduce that the City of Orono passed the moratorium to use as an after the fact ordinance in order to perpetuate the continued unpopular prosecution of the Nygards. The Nygards have presented a petition to the Orono City Council in 2012 whereby 88% of the residents of Orono who were approached signed the petition in favor of allowing the Nygards to have their Vertical Axis Wind Turbine.
Do we, as the residents of Orono or any other community, want our city to be playing games with our city code and our property rights as they continue to prosecute the Nygards for doing what they legally can do. How far will the city of Orono go in their continued attempts to prevent the Nygards from exercising their property rights? How many more thousands of dollars of taxpayer money will the city waste in a losing cause? We say that it is time to put an end to the nonsense going on up at city hall. The City of Orono needs to admit they were and are wrong, settle with the Nygards and compensate them for the over 2 years of grief they have had to endure.
We are listing the Orono official contact info below. We strongly urge Orono residents and others to contact the elected city officials in Orono and let them know that their vendetta against the Nygards has to stop and that all property rights of all Orono citizens need to be restored immediately!
Mayor Lili McMillan 612-840-8484 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Kristi Anderson 612-743-4214 email@example.com
Councilmember Cynthia Bremer 952-473-9777 firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilmember Lizz Levang 952-476-4123 email@example.com
Councilmember Aaron Printup 952-476-2051 firstname.lastname@example.org
City Administrator Jessica Loftus 952-249-4601 email@example.com