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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission delays discussion on proposed lake development, town regulation

Updated: Oct 10, 2023

MOUND CITY – Linn County Planning and Zoning Director Darin Wilson presented to the Linn County Commission proposed nuisance regulations that target unincorporated lake developments and towns on Monday, July 31. After a brief discussion, the commissioners decided to wait to approve it until Commission Chair Danny McCullough returns next week to the Aug. 7 meeting.

Wilson told the commissioners that this nuisance regulation would be added to the existing nuisance regulations. Wilson said that since the county had rezoned the lake communities and the unincorporated towns of the county, the existing nuisance regulation is now hard to enforce in those zones.

County Counselor Gary Thompson said he thought adopting new regulations was a good idea.

Commissioner Jim Johnson asked what the planning and zoning committee had to say about it.

Wilson said that his understanding on codes enforcement is that planning and zoning is not a part of that.

Thompson said that was correct. However, if the commissioners want the planners to weigh in on it, the commission could ask them to do so even though that commission does not deal with codes enforcement.

Johnson asked why the county had to enforce the lake developments codes.

Thompson explained that the county already enforces county regulations at the lakes. The thing is, he continued, county regulations say you can have up to five inoperable cars on a tract, but that is not really feasible in Centerville or the lake communities.

“Five inoperable cars on 20 acres looks a lot different than on a half-acre lot,” said Wilson.

Wilson said he did not feel that this would overload the codes court. He said there had been 29 cases this year and he had closed 22 of those out of court and there are only seven cases in court right now.

Wilson told the commissioners that the county pays the judge whether he is there 15 minutes or four hours.

Thompson said that there was plenty of space in the court setting for working on the nuisance cases from the lakes and unincorporated areas at this time.

Thompson said some work still needed to be done on the regulations.

The proposed regulation in its entirety is included below:




(a) BUILDING MATERIALS means lumber, masonry, concrete, metal, stone, roofing materials and other building materials utilized in the construction or repair of a structure.

(b) INOPERABLE means a condition of being junked, wrecked, wholly or partially dismantled, discarded, abandoned or unable to perform the function or purpose for which it was originally constructed.

(c) PUBLIC OFFICER means any County officer, employee, or authorized agent.

(d) TRASH means solid waste normally produced by persons in their dwellings or on their premises that can be stored for collection in trash containers and includes but is not limited to wrapped garbage, paper, rags, cans, bottles, and other containers and household wares.

(e) VEHICLE means, without limitation, any automobile, truck, tractor, trailer, camper, motorcycle, aircraft, atv, utv, boat or other watercraft designed originally for the transportation and conveyance of people, livestock and/or cargo.

(f) WASTE means and includes the following:

1. Demolition and construction waste includes but is not limited to, waste lumber, masonry, concrete, other building materials and the resultant mixture with soil or other solid waste resulting from construction, remodeling, repair or demolition of buildings, structures, pavements, bridges and similar projects.

2. Industrial waste means waste normally generated by industrial manufacturing operations which may include but is not limited to metal, plastic or similar materials produced by commercial operations.

3. Residential bulk waste includes but is not limited to items of waste normally produced by persons in their dwellings or on their dwelling premises including household appliances, furniture, plumbing fixtures, tires, playground equipment, yard appliances and equipment.

UNLAWFUL NUISANCES. It shall be unlawful and deemed a nuisance for any person or legal entity to maintain or permit the following nuisances within the unincorporated Towns or Residential Lake Communities area of Linn County, Kansas.

(a) Any junked, dismantled, inoperable, or abandoned vehicle or parts thereof that is not contained within a building or said nuisance exists for more than 30 consecutive days. Any one or more of the following conditions shall rise the presumption that a vehicle is junked, wrecked, abandoned or inoperable:

(1) The vehicle is not currently licensed or registered to operate on the public roadways pursuant to Kansas statutes

(2) The vehicle is incapable of moving under its own power.

(3) Placement of the vehicle or parts thereof upon jacks, blocks, or other supports.

(4) Absence of one or more parts of the vehicle necessary for the lawful operation of the vehicle on the public streets or highways, airways, or waterways.

(5) Vegetation, including weeds and trees, growing on, around or within a vehicle to such an extent that it is obvious that the vehicle has not been moved for at least 30 days.

(b) The accumulation of trash that is not contained within enclosed trash containers or the containers are not enclosed to prevent the trash from blowing onto other property.

(c) Tires, containers, storage tanks, unmaintained swimming pools or other items or conditions that may allow water to accumulate and provide a means for the breeding and infestation of flies, mosquitoes, or rodents.

(d) The accumulation or storage of waste that is not contained within an enclosed building.

(e) The accumulation or storage of building materials outside of a building for more than 90 days unless the materials are part of a construction project for which a building permit has been issued and the permit is current, are contiguous to the building site, are of a quantity that is not more than what is needed for the project and are relevant to said project.

(f) Fences that are not a part of an agricultural operation that are in a state of disrepair render them unfit for their intended purpose.

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