Extraterritorial zoning issue raises concerns
KALONA — Cited by Planning and Zoning Chairman Larry Christenson Monday as a means to “guide and direct” long-term development, a proposed zoning plan for the extraterritorial area within Kalona’s two-mile jurisdiction met with concerns and opposition from several residents in that area.
The plan, a reiteration of an earlier urban reserve designation, was discussed by the Planning & Zoning Commission at a meeting July 31. Monday, Christenson presented the Commission’s request for the city to hire a planning agency to create a plan, stressing that it does not involve annexation. The suggestion comes within a year of the rescinding of countywide zoning.
Mayor Ken Herrington said, “It is a long-term project,” that is aimed at giving the city “control right on our boundaries.” Christenson said that the plan would be for the area “up to two miles” outside Kalona, but likely would be less than that.
However, residents who spoke at the meeting questioned the move and one told the council “keep city zoning in the city limits.”
Council member Greg Schmidt asked the residents why they would not want the protection zoning could provide and he and the other three council members present stressed that nothing would happen “without public input and a lot of public meetings.”
Reaction was the council will allow them to speak, but not listen. That the idea input and influence “has a hollow ring to it.” Another pointed out that when it comes to voting, the residents in Kalona out-number the ones in the city’s extraterritorial area and “we cannot win.” It also was noted that none of the “outside” residents can vote for the council members who can initiate action that will affect the residents.
Christaison explained that the plan calls for a further board that would have two members as representatives for the non-city limit residents. A resident observed it was the creation of further bureaucracy, red tape and all kinds of additional fees.
City Administrator Ryan Schlabaugh said that, at the council’s request, Planning & Zoning came up with a plan and Monday the council was just bieng asked to look at it. He added that all that was sought was information about the costs of hiring a consulting firm. Motion to proceed was approved 3-1 with Craig Spitzer opposed and Schmidt, Mark Robe and Jenelle Bender in favor.
In other business, the council:
•agreed to a joint partnership with the Iowa Flood Center to aid with grant applications to fund the city’s Hazardous Mitigation Plan, a move that will provide services of a hydraulic engineer and give Kalona, as noted by Schlabaugh, “in-house control”. Fees, for an approximate 9-12 month period, will be from $25 to $32 per hour or approximately $21,000 total for the services;
•approved a lease of $125 per month for the Kalona Youth Organization to use Community Center facilities;
hired R. Mark Cory as the bonding attorney for the sewer $1.1 million sewer project;
•approved a resolution to authorized borrowing funds and issuing sewer revenue capital loan notes;
•tabled a resolution for a REAP grants for trails pending further information; and
•approved the 2014-25 road repairs with priority assigned to 3rd Street and G Avenue overlay, totaling approximately $93,170. Repairs also will be made to 6th Street, B Avenue, D Avenue, H Avenue, 7th Street and J Avenue for an additional estimated $12,300. Extended repairs to B Avenue and Highway 22 to 4th Street is estimated at $168,549 and another $84,231 to repair 14th Street north and south;