Re-mapping the Ag District
By john TorgrimsonMonday, July 9, 2001Editor’s note: On Thursday, June 28, the Ag District Review Committee released their recommendations on how the county might amend their zoning ordinance at the Fillmore County Planning Committee meeting.
The review committee recommended creating three districts:
• A-1 Agriculture Preservation District, where development would be limited to six homes per 640 acres.
• A-2 Agriculture District, where development would be limited to one non-farm homesper 40 acres; lot size would be at least five acres and development could take place on any land.
• A-3 Agriculture Development District, where development would be limited to four non-farm homes per 40 acreas; lot size would be at least 2.5 acres and development could take place on any land.
In addition, the committee recommended that subdivisions be limited to within a half mile of cities.
Journal Editor, John Torgrimson spoke with Fillmore County Planning Commission Chairman Mike Tuohy of Chatfield about the report and Planning Commission’s plans to proceed with looking at land-use in the county. A summary of that interview follows.
Journal: Could you tell us about the process that has led up to the committee releasing their report on the Ag District?
Tuohy: When I joined the Planning Commission in January 2000, there was talk of this in the future and it didn’t take long to see the demands in the county, and the polarization starting to take place on what land should be used for.
Norm Craig (Zoning Administrator) set up the group in mid to late summer last year consisting of people of diverse backgrounds. We met once or twice a month until the beginning of June. Norm did a wonderful job of facilitating this process, making sure that everyone was comfortable speaking their minds and not getting angry if their positions are not taken. People had to be willing to change their minds. This report is a culmination of a lot of hours of hard work and a lot of research.
Journal: What were some of the issues that the committee had to consider and work through?
Touhy: The first consideration was to conserve agricultural land.
As we progressed, we began asking ourselves, “How do you conserve Ag land against the demands and pressures that are out there?”
Every farmer owns his land. That is the greatest asset they have. C .....[Read the Rest]