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Planning commission: More public education needed for zoning certificates





Since the last meeting of the Ellis County Joint Planning Commission, there have been five requests for zoning certificates.

However, two of them were not in compliance because they were not completed before construction started, Karen Purvis told commissioners at Wednesday night's meeting at 601 Main.

"Before they build anything, they're supposed to get a zoning certificate, which is what we issue," Purvis said. "Anything outside the (city's) 3-mile zone that is put up needs to have a zoning certificate before they start."

The permit is needed for any type of construction, whether it be a house or an outbuilding.

"To build anything," Purvis said. "Any addition -- anything.

"If it is (agriculture-zoned), anything that is constructed or reconstructed, there is no charge for ag -- just paperwork."

Purvis added paperwork also needs to be filled out to make sure the construction is not in the flood plain.

Commissioners wondered if there was anything that could be done to inform property owners the zoning certificate needs to be completed before construction begins.

"I guess we definitely need more education," Purvis said.

Purvis also gave an update from Buckeye Wind, which is building a wind farm between Hays and Ellis.

The report said Buckeye Wind has completed work on 23 turbine access roads and foundation excavation.

It added additional electrical design and limited construction is ongoing, and the plan is to complete all clearing associated with the wind farm by March 31.