Extensive revisions to Boone County’s zoning regulations are beginning to show up on county commission agendas for final approval.
The revisions are the product of a series of public hearings and lengthy discussions by the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission over the spring and summer. At its Tuesday night meeting, the Boone County Commission is scheduled to approve revisions to the first five sections of the zoning code.
Amendments to further sections will continue over the next several months. County commissioners will have work sessions with Planning and Building Director Stan Shawver every Tuesday through the end of the year to hammer out details. Boone County Presiding Commissioner Keith Schnarre said he believes all the revisions will be adopted by the end of the year.
The amendments, which Planning and Zoning Commission approved and forwarded in August, mark the first sweeping changes to the county’s zoning code since 1991. Shawver said the revisions address shortcomings in the zoning code. Major changes proposed include the addition of a sign ordinance, the creation of overlay districts, and new definitions for commercial uses, in addition to new definitions for equine-boarding facilities and ranches. “The closer we come to the city’s regulations, it can save headaches down the road,” Shawver said.
Tuesday’s meeting will be the last chance for the public to speak in favor of or against provisions in Sections 1 through 5 of the zoning code. County commissioners have decided not to hold formal public hearings on the revisions but will allow public comment at regular meetings when amendments are up for approval.
Schnarre said the commission has not held formal hearings because attendance usually is low.
Schnarre has worked with the agricultural community and the Farm Bureau, which he said expressed a desire to change some of the wording in agricultural definitions.
Shawver said it’s also important to begin getting amendments on the books so residents and developers don’t have to continue guessing how the final revisions might look.
Proposed changes to Section 2 of the zoning code would add 30 definitions. The most noteworthy additions deal with the definitions of bars and taverns, adult cabarets, equine-boarding facilities and ranches, hobby kennels, animal-training facilities, public parks and signs.
Section 3 calls for the addition of several new planned zoning districts, including agriculture and agriculture-residential; single-family, two-family and moderate-density residential; recreation; and general industrial. It also calls for the addition of a character-preservation-overlay district, as well as an airport-approach-and-departure district.
Section 5 contains changes in permitted and conditional uses for each of the county’s zoning districts. The general industrial district was the only one to escape without recommended changes. The revisions would allow equine-boarding facilities and ranches in all agricultural districts. Equine-boarding facilities must be a minimum of 10 acres, and a conditional-use permit will be required for those with more than six animals. Equine ranches, where the owner of the land or property also owns all the animals, would have to be a minimum of 20 acres.
No changes are proposed for Sections 1 or 4.
The Boone County Commission’s regular meeting with the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission is at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the County Government Center.