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Board turns aside plan, will consider 'case-by-case' use

By RANDY GONZALES

rgonzales@dailynews.net

The Ellis County Joint Planning Commission declined to follow a recommendation for the county's comprehensive plan during its Wednesday meeting.

In the board's regular meeting at the Schenk Building at Ellis County Fairgrounds, two recommendations were discussed by the commission. They were tabled from last month's meeting when the commission desired more information before making a decision.

RDG Planning and Design recommended an area north of Victoria and an area north of Hays on U.S. Highway 183 be designated mixed-use zoning districts.

"I think it's a sensitive area, because there are so many interests in there right now," said chairman Kendall Krug. "I think the only way to handle (requests) is on a case-by-case basis."

The commission considered alternatives before passing a motion to not accept the recommendation to change to a mixed-use area at designated areas north of Hays and also north of Victoria.

"I really don't see the advantage of a mixed-use area," said commissioner Bill Poland.

In other business, the commission:

* Reviewing another recommendation at last month's meeting, asked Ellis County Administrator Greg Sund to research an appropriate buffer zone from a home to the road on 40-acre minimum lots. Sund said Wednesday buffer zones should be 50 feet to 100 feet, at least, with a preference for at least 100 feet.

The commission passed a motion for 150-foot setbacks, from the center of the road, for 40-acre minimum lot sizes in unincorporated areas of the county.

* Heard from Allen Schmidt in the public presentation portion of the meeting. Schmidt addressed concerns he had about present regulations, which hindered agricultural split lots.

Ellis County Counselor Bill Jeter said the commission has no authority to make zoning changes. For a change to be made, there needs to be a public hearing, then the county commission could make the change.

* Had a public hearing for Troy Robinson's request for a conditional-use permit to sell utility flat bed trailers and horse trailers from an existing shed located on property at 1072 Old U.S. Highway 40.

The commission approved the permit. Next will be a protest period, which ends March 13. After that, the permit needs approval from county commissioners.