Planning Commission May Reevaluate Zoning Decisions

A Yankton County Planning commissioner is concerned that the board took action on zoning enforcement without all of the information in front of them.

During a specially called meeting last Friday, the Planning Commission — acting with the enforcement powers of zoning administration it had been granted by the Yankton County Commission earlier in the week — revoked a handful of building permits and conditional-use permits for CAFOs in Yankton County citing non-compliance. The impacted applicants were John Gunderson, Josh Johnson, Jay Cutts and Karl Schenk.

At Tuesday’s Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Greg Hansen told the board that he had been approached by Gunderson with a copy of a letter that had been presented to Planning & Developing District III — which had been contracted to provide zoning duties for much of the year. This letter had not been included in a packet of information on each case the commissioners had utilized during Friday night’s meeting.

“Did (Brian) McGinnis have other information that we don’t know about?” Hansen said. “He had some here, so how do we know he doesn’t have some for Josh Johnson, Jay Cutts and Karl Schenk? We don’t know that.”

Hansen also raised concerns that the process had been excessively rushed.

“We were tasked by the (County) Commission and we had three days to be the enforcement officer,” he said. “On an issue this serious with this much attention paid that has as much at stake across this county as it does, we rushed it like this.”

Hansen proposed that the county look into reconsidering the items.

Planning Commission Chair Kristi Schultz recommended that the board look to State’s Attorney Rob Klimisch for direction.

“I think we need to talk to the state’s attorney to find out what the best course of action is,” Schultz said.

It was stated that Klimisch had been expected to attend the meeting Tuesday, but he was not present.

An additional special meeting was proposed, but no date was set pending availability of the commissioners and Klimisch.

For more, see Thursday’s Press & Dakotan.

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