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Commissioners debate allowing more homes in primary ag zones

Faced with four more conditional use permit applications for residential property in the A1 primary agriculture zones, Boone County Commissioners approved one permit Monday and tabled three others.
Four public hearings were held over 2 1/2 hours, with the same primary concerns presented in all four hearings.
Discussions started with Jack Dailey and Mark Niewohner, urging commissioners to protect agricultural uses, including livestock operations, in the A1 zones.
“The purpose of the A1 zone is to protect agriculture. Allowing all these (conditional uses) for home sites would limit agricultural operations in the A1.” said Dailey. “We’re not opposed to any of these specific proposals. We just want protection for ag uses in A1.”
A GIS mapping study by Chris Henry, UNL Extension engineer, was presented, showing the impact that various distance setbacks within Boone County would have on development of livestock feeding operations.
The study showed the area for potential livestock development in the county was minimal with half-mile setbacks, and nearly non-existent with three-quarter or one-mile setbacks.
Commissioners also reviewed zoning regulations from Adams, Cumming and Knox regarding primary agriculture zones. Cumming County’s AG-1 regulations require a minimum residential lot size of 10 acres. Cumming County also requires residential applicants in AG-1 to acknowledge the conditions that would exist with agricultural operations surrounding their property.
Three of the conditional use permit applications were tabled so commissioners could determine if home owners in A1 zones could be required to sign waivers for future agricultural operations.
Details in the Oct. 11 Albion News Print & E-Editions.