Dan Gustafson's sliver of land

5-foot strip of land on Medicine Lake provokes two-year war


Dan Gustafson bought a 5-foot-wide sliver of land wedged between two homes on Medicine Lake just so he could dock his boat there. The narrow strip of land on the popular Twin Cities lake — a leftover old fire lane — is close to his Minnetonka home, he said, cheaper than buying a lake home and more cost-effective long term than paying thousands of dollars a year in boat slip rentals. But two years later, he’s still unable to build the dock. The city of Plymouth says zoning rules restrict Gustafson from having a dock and it’s too close to his neighbors. “We’re trying to do what everybody on the lake and across the state does,” he said. “You own lakeshore, so you want to put up a dock.”
Plymouth City Council decides Medicine Lake dock dispute


Plymouth zoning rules prevent Gustafson from building a dock because he has no principal building on the site and because it's too close to adjacent properties. City zoning rules call for docks to be set back six feet from side lot lines. Tuesday night, the city council considered whether to allow docks on sites with no permament structures such as a house. "In some ways, I think it's very unfortunate that we're here," said Jim Erickson, Gustafson's attorney. "The two property owners that were immediately adjacent certainly could have bought that property had they wanted to protect those rights. They did not." Plymouth Planning Manager Barbara Thomson said there are nine other vacant lots in the city with a similar situation. Ultimately, the council voted down allowing Gustafson's dock because of the precedent it would set. "I want to be clear that I do not support the ability to put a dock on a five-foot strip of land without any setbacks," said Plymouth Mayor Kelli Slavik. As for what's next for Dan Gustafson and his 5–foot strip of land, his attorney said today they're not sure what their next move will be.
Comments: Top image screen shot from Facebook. 2nd image screenshot from the Hennepin County tax map. One of the more interesting stories from Plymouth last year. Of interest to me because I actually thought about buying the property myself for the very same purpose. I'm not sure if this has been finally resolved.

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