Board recommends rule changes on rural lot splits

Boone County Planning Commission again debated rule changes for rural residential lot splits during its monthly meeting Tuesday night, Feb. 26.
In a joint meeting with the Boone County Commissioners, the planning board decided to keep regulations that prohibit the building of single family homes on tracts that “do not have legal access to an improved road.”
The board had been debating a possible change in this provision after receiving inquiries about building homes accessible from minimum maintenance roads.
This regulation applies to homes built in both A1 primary agriculture and A2 secondary agriculture districts.
Mark Wagner served as chairman in the absence of Paul Groeteke.
At a county commissioners’ meeting last Tuesday morning, Brian McDonald, an engineer with JEO Consulting Group, said the county has two choices — either leave the regulation in place to prohibit building on minimum maintenance roads, or make sure the road is upgraded to improved status. In one instance, he estimated the cost of dirt work for upgrading a minimum maintenance road to standard could be $80,000 to $100,000.
County Commission Chairman Alan Rasmussen noted that several counties do allow homes to be built along minimum maintenance roads, but the property owner is required to pay the cost of upgrading the road to current standards.
Madison County, for example, makes this allowance. “NIRMA (Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Agency) is telling us not to allow it,” he said, due to safety and liability concerns for the county.
After making no change in this regulation, planning board members moved on to considering amendments in requirements for rural lot splits.
After debate, the planning board settled on the following requirements:
A1 Districts
• Minimum conditional use lot size is five acres (reduced from the previous 20 acres), including right-of-way. A conditional use permit is not required if the dwelling is built on a parcel of 160 acres or more.
• The previous requirement that each lot division must include three or four straight line borders was eliminated. Irregular lot sizes are now allowed as a conditional use, as long as they contain five acres or more.
• Current livestock setback distances will remain the same, and the density requirement of no more than four residences per section will remain the same.
A2 Requirements
Requirements for the A2 districts are the same as A1, except that a minimum lot split size of three acres (reduced from the previous 10 acres) is recommended as a permitted use rather than a conditional use. Maximum residential density is 16 homes per section
The requirement of three or four straight line borders was also eliminated for residences in A2 districts. Current setback distance requirements remain in place.

Read the complete story in the March 6 issue of the Albion News print and e-edition.