June 7, 2012

County zoning requests growing

County zoning requests growing

Editor’s Note: The McLean County Independent has taken a close look at the county and city zoning issues during the past few weeks. High priced rent offers from housing-hungry oil companies spurred the first story. The next two stories looked at city and county zoning ordinances. This week’s stories look at the people who oversee the county and city zoning laws.
Is it better to ask permission before or forgiveness after?
If it’s the case of a county zoning ordinance, the planning and zoning commission would most likely recommend permission and discourage forgiveness.
The McLean County Planning and Zoning Commission is a group of five that meets once a month to review rezoning requests or other zoning issues. The representatives were at the table May 29, along with Todd Schreiner, land use administrator, and Ryan Oberg, county assessor, when a variety of zoning issues were considered. The workload for this committee appears to be increasing as the county looks toward rapidly growing commercial development and housing issues.
At this meeting, the commission was asked to act on a zoning request to reclassify a parcel from agricultural to commercial. The matter had been a source of frustration for commissioners as county ordinances were ignored.
Another request was to build a garage closer than allowed to a lot line near Lake Audubon. A third request regarding an area south of Ryder, was asking permission for four RV campsites for electricians working in the oil field. A fourth wanted to subdivide four lake lots near Brush Lake.
The most contentious issue was that of Zach Roberts, who owns a farmstead southwest of Douglas where he’s rented to a welding company since last fall without requesting a commercial zoning permit. He is requesting that 2.41 acres be zoned for commercial use.

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