Rezoning request leads to sanitary code change

John Richmeier
The Leavenworth Times

A rezoning request has led Leavenworth County commissioners to order a change to the county’s sanitary code.

The issue came up when commissioners met Wednesday. Commissioners were presented a request to rezone a tract of land at 166th Street and Evans Road from a zone that requires lots to be a minimum of 2.5 acres to a zone that allows one-acre lots.

The tract of land is not connected to a sewer line. And Krystal Voth, director of the Leavenworth County Planning and Zoning Department, said the county’s sanitary code does not support the use of septic systems on one-acre lots.

She said this is the primary reason county staff members were not supporting the rezoning request.

She said allowing septic systems on one-acre lots would require significant modifications to the sanitary code. And the sanitary code has to be approved by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Voth acknowledged the tract of land is located in a neighborhood with a subdivision that already has one-acre lots even though it is not zoned that way.

She said the plat for the existing subdivision had been approved without a zoning change.

Senior County Counselor David Van Parys said existing subdivisions with one-acre lots are in conflict with the county’s sanitary code. He suggested commissioners take steps to amend the code to allow for one-acre lots before considering approval of the rezoning request.

Commission Chairman Doug Smith said he wants to make sure existing one-acre lots are in compliance.

“They were approved by a board that didn’t follow policy, so I want to get it fixed,” he said.

Commissioners voted to update the sanitary code and submit it to the KDHE for approval.

Commissioners also voted to table the rezoning request.

The rezoning request faces opposition from some of the neighboring property owners.

A protest petition was submitted to the county. But Voth said the petition is not considered valid because it did not include all of the necessary signatures.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR

In other business

The Leavenworth County Commission:

• Approved a resolution to authorize the sale of general obligation sales tax bonds.

About $8.9 million in bonds will be issued to replace temporary notes that were used to finance road improvements.

The bond sale will take place Oct. 20.

• Approved a utility accommodation policy.

The policy establishes penalty fees for utility companies that fail to locate existing utility lines when requested as part of county road projects as well as failing to relocate utility lines when requested by the county.