City oks conditional use permit and variance for Superior Ziplines

Plans for construction of a zip line on the Gunflint Trail 
were green-lighted April 3 when the city’s planning commission 
unanimously approved the developer’s request for both a variance and 
conditional use permit.
The requests went to the Grand Marais City Council, at the April 10 
for final approval and was approved unanimously.
The proposals comes from Matt Geretschlaeger of Superior Ziplines LLC, 
who last year purchased a 20-plus-acre parcel of land from the city 
off the Gunflint Trail east of the water tower on the hill overlooking 
town.
There were also several neighboring landowners in attendance, all of 
whom spoke in favor. Only one letter in opposition to the project was 
received –the letter writer said he believed the zipline towers would 
negatively impact the landscape and natural beauty of the area.
There was some discussion about the visibility of the towers, but 
Geretschlaeger presented a series of photos and maps which illustrated 
that the towers would be only minimally visible; the new structures 
will blend in and not be nearly as tall as other towers already in the 
area, and there will be no lighting or nighttime use of the facility, 
he said.
Geretschlaeger’s engineers said a stormwater runoff plan is not yet 
fully developed, but when it is, it must be submitted to the Minnesota 
Pollution Control Agency for its approval. Because of that and the 
concern for the surrounding area, the planning commission granted the 
conditional use permit, but with an added condition that the city be 
sent copies of all the permits, plans and applications relevant to 
Superior Ziplines’ stormwater management plan submitted to the state. “
Geretschlaeger said he could accept and work with those conditions. 
“There won’t be any problems,” he assured the board.