To the Editor,


If you are surveying property with a metes and bounds legal description, take note. (ex. “north 200 feet; thence west 300 feet; thence south 200 feet; thence east 300 feet”).

If you desire to sell a portion of your property, no matter the acreage, Otter Tail County will refuse to record the Deed, unless all tracts meet the following standards:

1. Each lot containing a wetland area must be a minimum of 5 acres in size; all other lots must be a minimum of 2.5 acres in size.

2. Certification of township approved public road access.

3. All roads must be identified on the surveyor’s drawing and signed in accordance with the provisions of the County’s Enhanced 911 Addressing System.

4. Sufficient suitable area for the installation of 2 standard onsite sewage treatment systems.

5. A registered surveyor’s drawing accompanies the document creating the subdivision for recording.

6. The surveyor’s drawing contains the following for signature by the property owner: “I hereby certify that the subdivided property described in this survey meets the county requirements for public road access and sewage treatment systems.”

This means if you want to sell a tract of your property, you will need to have soil testing completed by a designated certified designer who must determine two locations on the tract suitable to construct a new septic system. This information then needs to be recorded on the survey. What business is it of the county whether there are 1, 2, 3, or 0 “suitable areas” for septic systems, especially on agricultural land?

We now have these requirements for land, what about the requirements for our septic systems? What is wrong with holding tanks? Why does everyone have to have a mound system? Where does this stop?

I have talked with county commissioners regarding this issue and inquired who is responsible to pay these extra costs. If you said the property owner, you are correct.

The Director of Land Management has indicated that the county is working on making this rule more reasonable—with exceptions for ag land or higher acreage tracts.

One of our county commissioners, Wayne Johnson, who supports these requirements, is a designated certified inspector. Isn’t this a conflict of interest? When a publicly elected official stands to gain financially by supporting an overly broad and nonsensical rule regarding surveying property, how is this right?

What right does the county have to tell us how and where we can sell our property?

More laws, rules, and regulations are being made and we lose our rights little by little.

As a long time Otter Tail County resident, I think it is time to say enough is enough and start standing up for our rights and our ability to do what we desire with our own property. So far, only Dan Bucholz is willing to say NO to these onerous regulations.

Maybe it’s time we find different commissioners for the rest.

Treva Mayfield,