ROADSIDE MEMORIALS: Dakota County allows 6-month site, permits - KMSP-TV

ROADSIDE MEMORIALS: Dakota County allows 6-month site, longer with permit

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  • ROADSIDE MEMORIALS: Dakota County allows 6-month site, permitsMore>>

  • Harsh note left on roadside memorial for Apple Valley crash victim

    Harsh note left on Apple Valley roadside memorial

    Thursday, October 24 2013 5:15 PM EDT2013-10-24 21:15:45 GMT
    It seems someone doesn't want a makeshift memorial honoring the victim of an alleged drunk driving crash to be there, but friends and family say a harsh note left at the site broke their hearts anew.
    It seems someone doesn't want a makeshift memorial honoring the victim of an alleged drunk driving crash to be there, but friends and family say a harsh note left at the site broke their hearts anew.
APPLE VALLEY, Minn. (KMSP) -

A note left on a roadside memorial in Apple Valley threatening to dismantle the display left a grieving father heartbroken, but Dakota County says loved ones are well within their rights to place one at the site.

On Tuesday, Dave Williams became distraught after he found a harsh note during his daily visit to the spot where his son, Jeff Trondson, was killed by an alleged drunk driver.

"We keep it all clean and respectful," Williams protested. "I [saw] this and I'm like, 'Why would anyone want to desecrate his memorial?"

The note, which was left anonymously, read: "This is not a memorial! Please remove this within 24 hours or it will all go to trash!"

The collection of flowers and pumpkins surrounding the photograph at the corner of 106th Street and Harwell Avenue has been there since June, and according to Regan Carstensen, with Dakota County, it is legal under county law.

"In the event of a fatality on the county highway, a memorial may be placed adjacent to the right-of-way line near the location," Carstensen wrote in an e-mail.

According to county's right-of-way practices, memorials are allowed to remain in place without a permit for 6 months as long as they are small in size, do not interfere with safety, and are acceptable to the adjacent property owner.

Memorials can also remain longer if a permit is required as long as they are no more than 2-feet square and are placed flush with the ground. Dakota County reviews permit applications in consideration with parking, walking, and maintenance concerns.

The county does not allow memorials that negatively affect the flow of traffic or interfere with routine maintenance, such as mowing.

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