A Kinuso woman who had her business closed by Big Lakes County late last year is angry there is no appeal process.

Deborah Jackson voiced her concerns at council’s July 12 meeting.

“Apparently, there is no appeal,” she told council.

Jackson told council there is a statement on a letter she received from the county, saying, ‘You have 21 days to appeal.’

Jackson’s statement was not disputed by county staff or council at the meeting.

The matter arose when the county discovered Jackson was operating a gift and convenience store at Kinuso. They sent her a letter telling her the land was not zoned for the purpose and she had to apply for a re-zoning.

However, after going through the process, council denied the application at its June 14 meeting. Specifically, Jackson had applied to have the property re-zoned to hamlet mixed use from hamlet residential.
Council was told Jackson was operating her convenience retail store from her residence without an approved development permit and was asked to cease operations in October 2022.

Jackson makes and sells jewelry and sewing items. She wants to operate a small store in the mudroom of her house, where she can sell her crafts and some snacks.

Council gave no reason for its decision for refusing to re-zone, but Jackson said at the meeting she had spoken to Kinuso councillor Roberta Hunt, who told her council wants to keep that block solely residential.

Jackson told council on July 12 she did not agree with the decision, because within the block there is already a church, school and park – all not residential properties.

Jackson added she is located across from Heart River Housing properties, whose residents appreciate her store, especially when it was open and nearby, with all the other stores in the hamlet closed.

“I don’t understand,” she said. “Not one single person voted for me.”

As for the appeal being denied, Jackson told council she doesn’t think it’s fair that council changed the policy on appeals.

Jackson said she would gather 1,000 signatures on a petition “in all the hamlets,” to have the decision reversed.

Reeve Robert Nygaard told Jackson council would take her concerns “under consideration.”

by Chris Clegg

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