Marion County commissioners indicated Monday they may rework some zoning rules set in the 1970s to reflect the county’s need to get more young people living here now.
Although that might not matter on rural roads when people might want to build near the road, Commissioner Randy Dallke said commissioners may want to personally review zoning applicants who want to build on family land away from the road in more secluded spots.
The county is no longer at a stage when it can easily afford to lose young people, he said.
Dallke, whose sentiments were affirmed by commissioners Roger Fleming and Dan Holub, said persons who choose to build away from public roads must build and maintain driveways themselves because the county won’t pay those bills, no matter how long the access.
Consultant David Yearout said families also will need to be told that even if the remote zoning is approved for one of their children, it likely won’t be if another son or daughter seeks approval later because the purpose isn’t for multi-family developments.
Yearout said the families also will have to realize that if their family members sell the new house, or if a situation develops such as a spouse divorcing a family member, the driveway access given with the land probably will have to remain in existence as right of way.
Zoning Director Tonya Richards and Yearout said planners have recognized a growing demand from those interested in rural building for smaller acreages, more like three acres rather than five or 10, for less mowing maintenance, to leave more land in surrounding crop acreages, and meet criteria of lending institutions that sell mortgages acquired for smaller more suburban-like liens.
The commissioners also met with Richards, salvage yard operator Joel Hayes from Florence, and Rollin Schmidt, transfer station director, to discuss how to proceed with taxation on salvage buildings Hayes has with utility hookups installed on them, but no utility lines to them.
Hayes said the buildings are vacant, but kept so that someone could buy them for reconstruction purposes. The three commissioners agreed that all their districts have such buildings of no apparent use, but that could be remodeled for other purposes.
County Clerk Carol Maggard said a minimal assessment tax rate of $132 normally is paid annually on such buildings. She said county employees don’t have the time and resource to differentiate these buildings from other types of sheds and structures in the county.
The commissioners agreed, and told Hayes that although current tax is still due on the buildings, they will reconsider how Richards or someone in her department might be charged with plans next summer to make something like an annual inspection of such buildings for perhaps $50 or other minimal expenses fee.
The commissioners told Sheriff Rob Craft and Meredith Butler, 8th District Community Corrections juvenile intake director, that they will, for the time being, keep Craft’s former office in the old jail heated for juvenile intake.
Butler said the average number of children taken into Marion County intake has grown to 55 a year. She said the children are usually referred into foster care.
Juvenile intake officer Robin Dicks said the children may be kept in intake up to an average six hours in facilities that require restrooms and enough space to move around and play with toys or games.
Dicks said sheriff’s officers should be near at hand for children who might become difficult to control physically.
New State Representative John Barker told commissioners that Kansas already is gaining companies, especially in the Overland Park area coming out of Missouri, because under new Kansas’ rules initiated by Gov. Sam Brownback, employee withholding tax is reduced 7 percent compared to Missouri.
Barker said he is seeking appointment to judicial, veterans, homeland security and transportation committees.
The commissioners urged him to keep in mind on all issues that tax appraisals and issues aren’t the same for counties such as Marion compared to dominant wealthy counties such as Johnson. Rural counties are needing help, they said.
Holub said counties such as Marion have been taken advantage of reductions in state aid and exemptions for pipeline development. Barker said he is hearing similar concerns from Dickinson County.