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County board unable to take action on Leshara subdivision

County board unable to take action on Leshara subdivision

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WAHOO – Any action on the Whispering Ridge Estates final plat is out of the hands of the Saunders County Board of Supervisors until the Planning Commission provides a recommendation. 

Since the commission tabled a decision on the final plat during its Dec. 7 meeting, Whispering Ridge Estates attorney Javon Lausterer came to the supervisors on Dec. 8 making a request to approve the plat despite a lack of approval from the planning commission. 

Lausterer’s request was made during the public comment portion of the meeting and was not on the agenda, which meant the county board was unable to make any action on the request until Dec. 15. 

The request was made based on the Saunders County subdivision regulation stated in Article 3 Section 3 Paragraph G. This regulation states that if an application is tabled by the commission, the applicant can then go to the next county board meeting to request a public hearing in front of their government body. 

However, the county regulation contradicts a state statute. County Attorney Joe Dobesh ran across a portion of a Nebraska State Statute 23-114.01 (2) which states that the county board is unable to “hold its public meetings or take action on matters relating to…subdivision development...until it has received the recommendations of the commission.” 

Because of the contradiction and lack of recommendation, the county board is unable to fulfill Lausterer’s request, Dobesh said after the meeting. 

Dobesh said that after consulting with Keith Marvin of Marvin Planning Consultants, the decision to remove this county regulation was pretty straightforward and Dobesh said he hopes to get this changed as soon as possible. 

At the next planning commission meeting, Dobesh will make the recommendation to remove that stipulation instead of waiting for the completion of the updates being made to the county’s zoning regulations.   

According to Zoning Administrator Mitch Polacek, the planning commission felt that the proposed plat met only two of the four conditions the supervisors set during the public hearing on Sept. 1, which was why the topic was tabled.  

Those conditions include gaining approval from the Mead Fire District, space for vehicles to turn around, widening of the roads to 24 feet with no shoulders and clarification on the drainage analysis, per the meeting minutes.

Polacek said that the commission still was looking for clarification on approval from Mead Fire and the drainage analysis and since it is against state statute, Whispering Ridge Estates will have to wait for the next commission meeting. 

“They will have to go through the proper channels,” Polacek said.

In other business, the board approved a public hearing set for the Jan. 5 meeting on the updates to the county zoning regulations as well as authorized county board chairperson Karloff to sign the Courthouse Union contract for 2020 to 2023. The board also approved Saunders County School Choice Week from Jan. 24, 2021 to Jan. 30, 2021 to celebrate all schools in the county.

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