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  • Writer's pictureCharlene Sims, Journal staff

Commission sends application back to planning committee

MOUND CITY – Linn County Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson brought two conditional use permits (CUP) before the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, Dec. 5. One was approved, the other one sent back to the county planning and zoning commission for more direction.

The first CUP was requested by Brandon McGinnis (High Point-McGinnis Event Center) for an event center venue and cabin rentals on 118 acres of agricultural land that fronts on Waddles Road.

Wilson told the commissioners that some nearby landowners came to the planning board meeting to express their concerns that this would turn into a bar and have high noise levels. McGinnis told them that would not happen.

The commissioners took the recommendation of Wilson and a unanimous vote of the planning commission and approved the CUP.

Wilson then presented a CUP application for the Lavender Family Ranch. The application included a planned event center, cabin rental, horse stall rental, trail riding, recreational vehicle (RV) pad rental, and venue for family use only. The property is 209 acres on agricultural zoned land and fronts along Kansas Highway 52.

Wilson told the commissioners that it did not pass on the rental portion but that it be used only for family purposes.

“What you have here is they approved the CUP but the added a condition that wasn’t anticipated, the condition that it could only be used for family,” said County Counselor Gary Thompson.

Commission Chair Jim Johnson asked why the planning commission did that.

Wilson said that in the beginning the owner set several cabins on the property, and did not apply for a CUP. He said he approached the Lavender representatives about it and explained why they needed a CUP.

Wilson said that in his talks with Lavender family members, they said that they were wanting to eventually use one of the buildings as a venue, have cabin rentals, do the horse stall rentals, and other things. In agreement, they came in and applied for the CUP, and it was passed for family use just to cover the conditions for the buildings they had already set up.

However, the Lavender representatives were told they were to come back and reapply if they decided to monetize it.They are wanting to monetize it either now or later, but it got denied for the monetized use, Wilson said.

James asked what was the reason for denial for that.

Thompson said he didn’t think there was a good reason given, and it was more of a personal matter on the part of some of the board members.

Thompson told the commissioners they had three options: They could accept the CUP as sent to them with that condition in it; they could reject the CUP; or three, they could send it back to the planning commission and request changes.

Johnson asked if the Lavender operation was in compliance on everything now even though it was not at the beginning. Wilson said yes.

So they just got a little bit ahead of themselves, is that what it was, James asked.

They got the building permit to originally build the one building, Wilson said. They did not have permits for the cabins, and this CUP would put them in compliance with that.

However, that put more dwelling units than you can have on a parcel, Wilson said. He explained that they needed to do something, either move the cabins or get a CUP.

Is the septic system all in compliance, asked James.

Wilson said it was.

Was that done between building cabins, asked James.

It was set up to where they could hook some of the cabins up, Wilson explained. Some of the cabins are served by a building with showers and restrooms in it for people to use. One or two of the cabins and the RV pads are tied into the sanitation system.

“My question is, they built the building first, and then they built the cabins so when they built the building is there a bathroom and stuff in there, facilities?” asked James.

Wilson answered yes

“So when they put the septic system in, which we were supposed to go out and inspect which I assume we did, was that done just based on that individual facility or was it based on future use?” asked James.

Wilson said it was based on future use.

Why didn’t we know about that, James asked.

Wilson said he could not answer that because he was not involved in it.

James said the county should have known about the expansion, adding that it was the county’s fault to not follow through.

It was a bad decision or they just did not get back with us or whoever that was, James said. He said didn’t think the Lavenders did anything wrong, and commissioners should send it back to the planning commission and tell them we don’t see what they have done wrong.

Johnson and James agreed to send it back to the planning commission. Commissioner Danny McCullough was not at the meeting.

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