County approves permit for healthy living facility

It appears area residents wishing to lead healthier lives will soon have a new business they can turn to. Douglas County commissioners unanimously approved a conditional-use permit Wednesday for Good Earth Gatherings, a facility that will provide classes on healthy and sustainable living and sell related retail items.

Property owner Tamara Fairbanks-Ishmael will teach classes out of her home, which is located on 10.5 acres of land at 858 East 1500 Road. She said she plans on teaching about three classes per week. The permit allows her to teach up to 15 per month.

“This is something I’ve always dreamed of,” Fairbanks-Ishmael told commissioners.

Some neighbors had been concerned by traffic the business might bring to their area, but Fairbanks-Ishmael said she has two small children and plans on this being a part-time endeavor.

Commissioners also approved a 2012 Legislative Policy Statement for Douglas County, which will be forwarded to the Douglas County delegation in the state Legislature. The statement expressed concern over funding for Lawrence’s SRS office and reimbursement rates for housing prisoners in county jails, among other funding issues.

In other business, commissioners approving a contract for $9,461 with Kansas Gas Service to move a natural gas line, which is in conflict with a planned reconstruction project along one mile of Douglas County Road 1055. The line runs between U.S. Highway 56 in Baldwin City and Douglas County Road 12, which also is known as the State Lake Road.

No comments from the public were made Wednesday, but members of Lawrence Boy Scout Troop 158 were in the audience to watch their government in action.

“We don’t get a lot of visitors,” Commissioner Jim Flory joked. “It’s nice to have you come in.”