WALKER - The Cass County Board on Tuesday set June 3 for a second public hearing and to consider adopting a revised countywide zoning map and proposed new development section for the Land Use Zoning Ordinance.
The hearing and consideration for adoption will come during the regular 9 a.m. county board meeting at the courthouse in Walker.
The county planning commission, board of adjustment and special committee to prepare development standards have approved the proposed final development standards draft.
"Our residents see and appreciate the need to do this," Jim Ballenthin told the board Tuesday - after two years of receiving public comments as facilitator for the committee charged with developing the new standards.
The proposal leans heavily on conservation development standards to encourage the clustering of buildings and, most importantly, setting aside open spaces within new developments. It still allows for lot and block development, however.
Ballenthin predicted conservation development will increase future property values by preserving tracts of land with the "Up North" appeal and by better protecting the county's water-quality rather than allowing only lot and block developments without requiring land to be set aside in its natural state.
The county board thanked Ballenthin and his committee for his many volunteer hours the last two years and Planning Commission Chair Mike Wetzel and the commission for the many hours they put into preparing conservation development standards.
"This is the first time in my life - other than my children - I feel I can leave an imprint for the future," Ballenthin said.
Tuesday, the county board also authorized the planning commission to prepare additional land use ordinance changes to reflect the changes being made to the county map and development section. Some of those changes will include adding a commercial districts section and deleting any references to planned unit development and inserting references to conservation development.
Changes also will be proposed for non-conforming use and structural standards, multi-family standards, adding a family compound standard and to exempt county roads from conditional use permit requirements.
A public hearing on these changes will be announced before the planning commission before it will recommend adoption to the county board. A date is expected to be set and published within the next two months.
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