Charlene Sims, Journal staff
County businesses failing to renew conditional-use permits
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
MOUND CITY – Many businesses in unincorporated areas of Linn County are operating on expired conditional-use permits (CUPs), Planning and Zoning Administrator Darin Wilson told the Linn County Commissioners on Monday, Oct. 3.
When granting conditional-use permits to allow a business to operate on land that doesn’t have commercial or industrial zoning, the planning and zoning commission regularly places time limits on those CUPs to ensure that the business continues to operate in the way it proposed when the CUP was first granted.
Commissioner Danny McCullough started this discussion by asking about a business that had just been approved with a five-year CUP.
Commissioner Rick James asked how many businesses in the county had CUPs.
Wilson, who has been in this position for less than six months, said he did not know the answer to that, but he was in the process of going through them to see which ones have expired.
Wilson said that he had found some that had not been renewed and he has sent out 10 to 12 letters for renewals. Most of them have sent answers back saying that they want to renew.
He said he had not sent out more letters yet because the planning commission and commissioners will be overloaded with renewals.
Commission Chair Jim Johnson asked if it wasn’t the companies’ responsibility to make sure their permits are renewed.
“It really is, but I don’t think that has really been stressed to them too much in recent years,” said County Counselor Gary Thompson. “Darin is taking a new approach now and he’s making it clear that it is their responsibility.”
Thompson told the commissioners that Wilson is creating a file that will alert his office that a renewal is coming up.
James asked if there was a current policy if a person lets their permit lapse.
“Technically if they let it lapse, then it is gone,” answered Thompson.
Johnson asked if a deadline was being set up for the businesses so that they would get it done.
Wilson said that in the letter he sent he gave them 10 days to respond to start the renewal process.
Thompson said the point of putting a limit on the conditional use permit was so neighbors had an opportunity to express their concerns if there was a problem.
Wilson presented a conditional use permit for approval of a CUP to operate an auto repair and restoration business. The applicant is Jeremiah Brockway for Brockway Auto and Restoration, LLC at 7704 West 2000 Road in the Parker area.
Wilson reported that the planning commission had voted 9-0 to recommend approval of this CUP for five years with findings and conditions, including building a building within one year to house vehicles.
The commissioners approved this permit.