County discusses lot splits

News editor

Planning and Zoning Director Tonya Richards and planning consultant David Yearout presented Marion County Commission with a recommendation from Marion County Planning Commission to allow agricultural lot splits for existing homes that do not have a direct frontage on a public road.

Currently the county doesn’t allow lot splits that leave a lot without frontage on a public road. The recommendation was to allow those lot splits as long as the split includes easements for a driveway and utilities to the residential lot.

Under the recommendation, lot splits not in compliance with the frontage requirement would require commission approval. The proposal also limited those lot splits to properties with an existing homestead.

Commissioner Randy Dallke said he wouldn’t vote for the recommendation because it wouldn’t treat new construction the same as existing homes. Yearout said it would be easy to revise the resolution to open lot splits to any lot with an easement for a driveway and utilities.

The commission instructed Yearout to revise the resolution and present the new version at a future meeting.

Waste fee may change

Joel Hayes of Florence asked the commission why properties he has that are unused are being charged the $134 solid waste fee for commercial properties. Earlier this year, the commission voted to end appeals of the solid waste fee for unused, seasonal, and occasionally-used properties to simplify the fee.

Hayes said he owns three buildings in Florence where the solid waste fee is more than the property taxes, and none of those buildings are in use. He doesn’t want to tear them down, because Florence already has too many vacant lots.

Commission Chairman Dan Holub said he didn’t want to go back to having lots of categories for the solid waste fee and an appeals process that would put a burden on Richards.

The commission considered creating one additional category for uninhabitable properties, requiring a one-time $50 fee to inspect the property and ensure it met the requirements. Commissioners decided it was too late to change for this year, but to review it in spring 2013.

 

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