Commission Continues Review of Gage County Comprehensive Plan

BEATRICE – The Gage County Planning Commission resumed discussion last night on the county’s comprehensive plan, and whether any changes in zoning requirements are needed to address growth patterns since the last time the plan was evaluated.

In the past couple of years, the commission has seen its share of disputes over special use permits, generally involving residential development in areas designed for agriculture.

Commission Chairman Dennis Rosene says the original plan attempted to protect agriculture development.

:32                  “corridors”

Some of the discussion Tuesday night dealt with whether setback distances should be adjusted….and whether that should be done by specific zone, or county-wide.

Commission member Rodney Ensz says in some way, agriculture has more limits on growth, than someone wanting to place a home in a rural area.

:47                  “bigger setbacks”

Recently, Gage County hired Hanna:Keelan Associates to help review the county’s comprehensive plan, at a cost of $14,000.   A consultant from the firm did not attend Tuesday night’s meeting.

Recent cases that have resulted in disputes have generally involved expansion of animal agriculture. Commission Member Terry Acton says that’s occasionally  placed people against one another where you wouldn’t expect a fight.

:26                  “livestock people”

Rosene wonders whether the county’s current comprehensive plan is somehow encouraging spotty development, rather than a more orderly growth pattern. He said perhaps more should be done to promote urban reserve, or Ag-Four zones next to communities, as places for new residential development.

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