Since no one knew how much work the new county zoning laws would create, officials with the city and county decided to work on it for six months under a flat fee and then review the impact it was creating. That review has not yet begun, but will be happening soon.
“We have not had those discussions yet,” said Helms. “We’ll start looking more closely at that at the end of the month.”
The new laws have forced people to make some adjustments including the commissioners. “For years we have received notices from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management and the Environmental Protection Agency when they approved permits for projects in the county,” said Wichman. “Now we forward those to the zoning board to make certain they have the proper local permits. We have had six or eight of those since the first of the year.”
Most of those permits concern proposals for constructing confined feeding operations. Daviess County’s ordinances allow for the construction of those facilities, but they also require a local permit with provisions that adjoining property owners be notified about the project. Local officials say the idea is to give neighbors a forum and look for ways to perhaps adjust where a project might go on a piece of property to avoid future problems. Daviess County officials say they are expecting a lot more requests for CFO’s in the near future.
“I think because of the new Farbest Plant in Knox County we will see a run on applications for those,” said Wichman.
With the new maps, now at six months planning and zoning may not necessarily be a hit, but it appears to be working. “Up to now I haven’t really heard any complaints,” said Helms.
“There’s a reason for the codes,” added Wichman. “I think it’s going pretty good.”