Commissioners approve one part of zoning rule changes, table another

By Jim Dickerson
After a public hearing Tuesday evening, May 29, Boone County Commissioners voted to approve only part of the recommendations from the County Planning Commission on A1 primary agricultural zones.
The commissioners also voted to lift a moratorium on conditional use permits for residential lot splits in the A1 zones. This will be made official with a resolution at their June 11 regular meeting and will be retroactive to May 29. The moratorium had been in effect since October of last year.
All Setbacks Retained
The county board approved part 1 of the planning board’s recommendation, which was to retain all of the existing setback requirements between confined livestock feeding operations (LFOs) and dwellings.
The recommendation was also to “clean up” language in the A1 regulations dealing with LFO setback distances, replacing sections of text with a chart showing the LFO sizes and setback distances.
This recommendation included the allowance for on-site employee housing for A1 ag operations, with the provision that, when the housing is no longer used for employees, it may not be split off the property.
After a public hearing on March 26, the planning board had voted 6-3 in favor of this recommendation to retain the existing LFO setback distances.
Minimum Lot Size Tabled
Commissioners voted to table part two of the planning board recommendation. This recommendation was to increase the acreage size to 160 acres as a requirement to build a residence in the A1 zone without a conditional use permit.
This recommendation also called for a five-acre minimum for any parcel split in the A1 zone requiring a conditional use permit. The five acres is to include right of way, and must have either three or four straight borders. The only exceptions would be for naturally occurring boundaries.
The five-acre minimum would be an increase from the three acre minimum lot sizes that have commonly been allowed as conditional uses.
The final provision of the part two recommendation was to limit residential density in the A1 zone to no more than five residences per section. The current regulation is no more than two residences per quarter section.
The planning board had approved this portion of its recommendation unanimously on March 26.
Commissioner Hilary Maricle made a motion to table this provision on lot sizes until the commissioners and planning board could meet in a June workshop to revisit the subjects of setback distances and conditional use permits, with a resolution of these matters no later than July. The motion carried 3-0.

Read the complete story in the June 6 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.