County to consider changes to zoning ordinance

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The required separation of a new home to an existing feedlot may soon be the same as the separation required from a feedlot to a home, if a change is approved next month by Sibley County.

A public hearing will be held Monday, July 10 at 7 p.m. in the courthouse annex basement auditorium to consider five changes to the county zoning ordinance. The County Commissioners will consider the changes on July 11.

The proposed change would change the setback for feedlots of 50 to 599 animal units to be 1/8 mile from dwellings and 1/4 mile from residential zones. Feedlots of 600 to 999 animal units would need a 1/4 mile setback from dwellings and 1/2 mile setback from residential zones.

Feedlots 1,000 – 1,999 animal units would require a 1/4 mile setback from dwellings and one mile setback from residential zones. Feedlots of 2,000 – 4,000 animal units would need a 1/2 mile setback from dwellings and two mile setback from residential zones.

Presently a one-half mile setback is required from new homes on new sites to feedlots.

Jeff Majeski, County Planning and Zoning Administrator, stated that in the last three years, the county has issued about a dozen variances that were within the 1/4 to 1/2 mile range.

Other zoning changes being considered:

• Requiring a plat when there is a fourth split in a 40 acres parcel. Presently if there is more than one split in the 40 acres, a plat is required. Majeski said this change may affect property adjacent to cities and possibly rural residential developments, especially in eastern Sibley County.

• Changing the way the raw market land value is being calculated. Under the proposal, the raw land market value would be determined through the use of tax assessment records and be calculated on the total acreage of lots, outlots or other land area of the subdivision that is buildable, as determined by County Planning and Zoning. In the past, outlots were excluded. The raw market land value was set at $3,500 per acre on Jan. 1, 2005. This fee, paid when residential plats are finalized, is placed in the county’s park fund.

• Reviewing permits granted for manufactured homes used as temporary dwelling would be reviewed annually by the county board and would become void after one year, unless extended by the county board. As a condition for renewal, the permit holder must adequately maintain the manufactured home. The zoning administrator will annually inspect each manufactured home and report findings to the county board. A $25 fee must be paid by the home owners. It is proposed that the inspections would begin Jan. 1, 2007, according to Majeski.

• Establishing tree setbacks from public roads. The proposal is for tree planting along state, county, or township roads to have a setback from the mature tree dripline of a minimum of 50 feet from the outside edge of the road right-of-way, or a setback from the mature tree dripline of a minimum of 125 feet from the center line of the public road, whichever is greater.

Sibley County is also proposing to require those who start construction prior to obtaining a permit to pay a stiffer penalty. The proposal is that if the cost of the improvement is less than $20,000, the increase in the permit fee will be $500 per permit. If the cost of the improvement is $20,000 or more, the increase in the permit fee will be $1,000 per permit.

If the changes are approved by the County Commissioners, the changes will take effect following publication, likely in August.

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