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P & Z recommends broadening use possibilities for existing buildings in Ag District


Fri, Apr 18th, 2014
Posted in All Government

The Fillmore County Planning Commission held a public hearing on the use of existing buildings in the Ag District (604.03 #13) at their April 10 meeting.

Number 13 under Conditional Uses in the Ag District read as follows: “Commercial and Industrial uses primarily intended to serve agricultural uses.” The amended language is proposed to read: “Commercial and Industrial uses primarily intended to serve agriculture. Non-agricultural commercial or industrial uses can be located in existing buildings, not previously permitted as a dwelling, sited adjacent to the Highway 16, 52, and 63 corridor.”

Zoning Administrator Chris Graves explained that the intent is for the main corridors to see commercial and industrial use. Questions have been raised about the use of existing buildings along these main corridors. The sale of some of these buildings has been held up because of the limited use options in the current ordinance.

The ordinance amendment would not extend to new construction. At the last meeting Duane Bakke suggested that commercial and industrial activity should remain as close to municipalities as much as possible.

There was no comment from the public. The commission unanimously passed the amended language and sent it on to the county board for their consideration.

Other Issues Discussed

The commission discussed other issues related to rezoning in the Ag District. In January the former motel property near the Iowa state line in Canton Township was rezoned from B1(commercial) to R1 (single and two family residential) to allow it to be used as a six residential apartment unit.

The intent of the ordinance had been to limit housing in the Ag District. However, the rezoning of the motel was consistent with the ordinance as it is written today.

In order to limit this type of spot zoning there would have to be an amendment to 604.01 #1 (Prohibited Uses). Property within the Ag District that is currently not zoned Ag can be rezoned to another district for a different use under the rules of the existing ordinance.

Bakke maintained water bottling should be limited only to water from an artesian well. He continued stating that the reservoir for an artesian well is different than other wells in the county. Bakke noted that the water in our area is the best drinking water in the state. Graves said, personally, he believed the ordinance should just say water, adding water is water.

The next P & Z and Board of Adjustment meeting will be May 15. There will be a public hearing on proposed changes to the Feedlot ordinance.

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