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Construction approval obtained by falsifying intent

To the editor:

Three and a half years ago my wife and I bought our dream home. A relatively rural neighborhood on a cul-de-sac with nature and scenery galore was all we had ever wanted. All that changed with the swipe of a pen followed by the exhaust of a backhoe. Douglas County and city of Alexandria officials authorized a dormitory to be erected directly across from us. The dormitory was not built for the growing needs of the higher education system in town; instead, it is housing 14-16 adult males.

It is our understanding the county approved the structure to be built as a two-family residence, which would qualify appropriately as it is zoned as 1-4 family residence use only. As this property is within a two-mile radius of the city limits, the city approved a building permit for a multi-family residence, which apparently allows for up to 16 individuals (non-family) to occupy.

This is not a two-family residence, it is not even a 1-4 family residence. It is a six-bedroom dormitory with no garage and inadequate parking. When county officials were asked about the structure as it was being built, we were informed they do not care if the house was built out of straw, mud, cardboard or whatever, they could not do anything to cease it from being built as the city issued the permit.

There are currently up to six vehicles parked on the street and new “residents” walking through vacant, and some not vacant lots. What was once our dream home is now just a house.

I hope the county and city get on the same page and conclude this is not an appropriate structure to be located in a residential neighborhood and the construction approval was obtained by falsifying the intent of the building.

Robert A. Wegner

Alexandria, MN

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