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Supervisors aim to revise zoning regulations

BY CHRISTIAN HAHN | SEPTEMBER 12, 2014 5:00 AM

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Johnson County Supervisor Rod Sullivan wants to revise the regulations for the zoning of minor subdivisions that contain three or fewer lots. He said he wants to make these changes because they do not have to adhere to regulations in place for major subdivisions containing four or more lots.

The Johnson County Board of Supervisors approved a zoning measure on a 3-1 vote on Thursday, with Sullivan opposing it. The measure OK’d Brad Amendt’s application to rezone his land.

After the supervisors’ approval, Amendt will be able to rezone three of his 18 acres to an R3-residential zone, which would allow for three residences to be built.

Sullivan is particularly concerned with sensitive areas, storm-water management, and soil-erosion control plans because certain regulations do not apply to three-lot subdivisions. His concerns were brought to light with Amendt’s request.

Amendt’s land contains steep slopes leading to Turkey Creek. Because of an agreement with the county, he cannot build on this area of land. 

He has agreed to adhere to all regulations in place for three-lot subdivisions as well as a conditional zoning agreement that helps to address environmental concerns.

Part of the agreement is to have “building envelopes,” which will clearly outline where the owner cannot build in respect to environmental concerns such as the creek and the steep slopes.

Were the owner to zone for a four-lot subdivision, he would be required to adhere to the Sensitive Areas Ordinance, which would restrict him from building within 60 feet of Turkey Creek. As part of the conditional zoning agreement, he has agreed to buffer with 100 feet from the creek.

The agreement also restricts the landowner from making any changes to some possible wetlands on the north side of his lot.

Rather than continue to draft conditional zoning agreements, Sullivan would like to revise the current regulations regarding subdivisions.

He said he has seen at least three rezoning applications for the approval of minor subdivisions, which were originally agricultural zones.

“For a long time, I’ve advocated for a change to our sensitive areas, storm water, and soil-erosion-control plans so that they applied to smaller subdivisions,” Sullivan said. “One of my frustrations is we get these three-lot subdivisions and none of the rules apply.”


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