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Judge rules in favor of County in zoning dispute

Following a trial, Judge Joseph Boles ordered Delbert E. and Nancy L. Johnson, Red Wing, remove structures, except for the basement and holding tank, from their property located in a floodway area along the Mississippi River in the Town of Trenton.

The case involves a suit filed in October 2012 by Pierce County, claiming the Johnsons broke county laws when they built in a floodway.

The judge found there was construction without a permit and said the Johnsons would be fined $31,200 if the structures aren’t removed by Sept. 1. The screen porch may remain if it is relocated to a legal distance.

Boles found that, in 2010, a structure was built for human habitat in the floodway, which was a violation of county law.

According to the original complaint, the Johnsons were issued a building permit, but after construction began, county officials determined the work violated the county’s zoning code and issued a stop-work order. But, said the complaint, the Johnsons continued construction.