Land use plan’s first public hearing may come Feb. 17
Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:02
Last Updated on Thursday, 30 January 2014 16:04
Cuming County’s Planning Commission took a look at the proposed new comprehensive land use plan last Tuesday night during its January meeting. A required public hearing on the plan could come at the February 17 meeting.
If approved, the plan would then go before the Cuming County Board of Supervisors, which would also hold a public hearing before taking action.
The comprehensive plan is the guiding policy document for all land use and development regulations in those parts of the county not governed by municipalities. The county’s current plan was written in 2000.
County Planning & Zoning Administrator Todd Leisy encouraged the Planning Commission members to become familiar with the land use plan, which differs from the zoning laws that will be looked at and rewritten once the plan is approved.
The current comprehensive plan was written to protect the county’s agricultural base, and the plan will be the guide used to amend current zoning laws. Protecting that ag base is still part of the new plan being proposed. The land use plan also provides opportunities for residential development outside of city and village limits.
The steering committee has identified eight districts in the draft land use plan: intensive agriculture, general agricultural, urban reserve, community gateway, lake-oriented residential, bluff-oriented residential, rural residential and flood plain-conservation.
The ag intense areas have existing intensive ag operations and the plan should be designed to protect those uses. Expansion of those operations would be permitted.
The general ag districts are the areas deemed likely to be developed in the next 20 years and for that reason, ag uses should take priority in those districts. Residential lot sizes in those districts, the plan says, should be large so to discourage suburban-style development.
Urban reserve districts are those in the one-mile buffer around communities and are designed to protect the future growth of the cities and villages. Intensive ag operations are strongly discouraged in those areas, and residential lots should be smaller.
The community gateway districts serve as the entrance to the county’s communities. Development in these areas should address the highway with the desired image of each community and can be achieved with design guidelines for commercial and industrial development.
For the full story, pick up the January 29 West Point News, or call 372-2461 to subscribe.