Douglas County commissioners Wednesday night deferred a decision until next month on a planning amendment that would protect prime agricultural soil near the Lawrence Municipal Airport.
In March, commissioners approved a slight change to the industrial development section of Horizon 2020. Months ago, Commissioner Nancy Thellman had proposed including language that encouraged agricultural industry businesses that would preserve the soil to locate near the airport. The issue has been a hot topic since 2007, when an industrial development proposal near the airport surfaced.
Since then, the planning commission and Lawrence City Commission unanimously approved the changes, but when it came before the county for a final decision Wednesday, Thellman said she had concerns that the amendment would not provide enough protection for prime agricultural soils, particularly if it takes years to approve a chapter on environmental issues in Horizon 2020.
Commissioner Mike Gaughan agreed with Thellman to reconsider the amendment at their Aug. 5 meeting.
Commissioner Jim Flory voted against deferring the decision, and during the meeting he said that the proposed amendment would give more protection to prime soils than Horizon 2020 currently did.