The Buena Vista County Board of Supervisors recently approved an $80,000 contract with JEO of Wahoo, Neb., to redraft the county's Comprehensive Plan.
A number of companies had submitted bids for the Comprehensive Plan, including PlanScape partners of Clear Lake and Minneapolis, Minn., which has done work on the US Bioenergy plant in Albert City. However, all were substantially over the $80,000 the county had budgeted. After negotiations, JEO agreed to the $80,000 budgeted amount.
As part of its agreement, JEO will hold a series of public meetings throughout the county to receive public comment before working with the county on drafting the Comprehensive Plan.
After approving the agreement, Supervisor Jim Gustafson asked County Zoning Director Kim Johnson whether the Comprehensive Plan could be designed to limit the number of housing units in a given area.
Johnson said not the Comprehensive Plan, but rather the redrafted county zoning ordinance, based on the Comprehensive Plan, could address rural subdivisions. While all farm dwellings, including houses, are currently exempt from county zoning, Johnson said non-ag subdivisions have to adhere to the county zoning plan. Ag-zoned areas are generally regarded as those under 25 acres.
Johnson said the new zoning ordinance will not be able to change existing use. However, the county still has the power to ensure that every land unit, whether agricultural, industrial, or residential, has adequate drainage.
The issue of waste collection systems also arose.
"Maybe this is something we want to get into ourselves, get into the waste collection system," said Bill Lanphere, a resident of the Casino Beach area. "We the county could do the collection system and the pumping ot get into the Storm Lake sewer."
Johnson said she doubted whether the City of Storm Lake would approve that arrangement. Rather, she said the county would likely want to build its own waste collection system of any areas that it serves.
Supervisor Jim Gustafson suggested that wetland systems could be used in rural areas in conjunction with septic tanks.