Jul 09, 2024

Public meeting in Nickerson goes well

Posted Jul 09, 2024 4:23 PM
Reno County Zoning Map-Green area and cities are zoned.
Reno County Zoning Map-Green area and cities are zoned.

Hutch Post

HUTCHINSON, Kan. — The public meeting Monday night in Nickerson attended by three county commissioners was designed to get public feedback on some issues they are considering.

"The intent of the meeting was to kind of find out from residents, mainly those living in the unincorporated unzoned areas of Reno County to kind of get an understanding of whether or not they wanted to look at possible zoning countywide or in their areas," said Reno County Administrator Randy Partington. "Then it kind of led into what their feelings were about commercial solar farms and so the the three county commissioners were just trying to kind of get a gauge of the public's interest for that."

Right now, the majority of Reno County is not zoned. 

"About a third of the county is zoned and it's really Hutchinson up north everything east and then when you're south of South Hutchinson it's about Yoder Road," Partington said. "Everything east is zoned, everything west of Yoder Road is pretty much unzoned once you get past South Hutchinson, Hutchinson and Nickerson."

The difference in zoned and unzoned is relatively simple to explain.

"It protects residents property rights there, of the owners," Partington said. "It does have some regulations, so it regulates kind of where you can place buildings. Ag land is exempt, ag buildings are exempt anything over 40 acres would be exempt. This doesn't include any cities in Reno County. What they would do is if they're going to put up a new building or have a lot split of less than 40 acres into five acres, three acres, they would then go through a process pay $50 to the planning department to run through the zoning planning process. Really it's about setbacks of the location of the building on the property that's kind of what it would do, that's the regulations part. The protection is it would give owners property owners a say if in kind of what their neighbors may do if say a salvage yard was going to be put up next door to a property owner they would have if they are zoned they would have a chance before that to go through a conditional use permit process and property owners within a thousand feet radius would have the opportunity to go before the planning commission and protest or explain why they think that's bad for their neighborhood, their area. It's kind of a protection of property rights but it's also regulations to kind of have somewhat orderly growth in the county."

There are still two more of those meetings to happen, one on July 22 in Arlington and one July 23 in Pretty Prairie.

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