The Winona County Planning Commission is working on a host of zoning ordinance changes, from typos to potentially major regulatory shifts that could change future development for years to come.
Earlier this month, the Planning Commission reviewed a list of minor ordinance revisions, with several larger potential changes expected to be discussed during its June meeting. The minor revisions will likely face a public hearing in the coming weeks, with additional public hearings expected to be scheduled in the future for citizens to provide input on more substantial ordinance revisions.
Planning Commission members did not debate more sizable possible ordinance changes during the May meeting because information from the county attorney's office was not made available by the meeting time. However, both the Planning Commission and the Board of Adjustment reviewed several permit requests in May, testing the ordinance on everything from dog kennel rules to feedlot laws. Permit requests heard included the following:
Rick Speltz, Winona County Planning Commission member, stepped down from his commission seat earlier this month to request a permit to expand his feedlot in Utica Township.
Speltz asked to expand his feedlot from 239 animal units (70 dairy cows, 190 dairy heifers and 40 dairy calves) to 445 animal units (70 dairy cows, 430 dairy heifers, and 230 dairy calves). The commission recommended approval for the expansion, and the County Board was expected to vote on the permit request Tuesday night.
Darren Johnson received a variance from the Board of Adjustment for a feedlot less than the required 1,000 feet from a residence. Johnson's original plans would have had the feedlot 330 feet from the nearest residence, but after county staff helped him adjust his site plan, he was awarded a permit to place the feedlot 600 feet from the nearest residence.
Menno Bontrager was granted a variance from the Board of Adjustment for a residence in Saratoga Township less than the required 1,000 feet from a feedlot. The home will be placed 565 feet from the feedlot.
Jennifer and Timothy Scharmer requested a Conditional Use Permit for a dog kennel in Homer Township. The Planning Commission recommended the County Board approve the permit request.