Archive for Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Douglas County commissioners to discuss agritourism recommendations Wednesday

March 18, 2014


The Douglas County Commission will once again take on the topic of revising zoning codes for agritourism businesses at its weekly meeting Wednesday.

In October, the County Commission appealed to the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission to draft recommended changes to its current agritourism regulations. The planning group will present those suggestions Wednesday, County Administrator Craig Weinaug said.

Agritourism regulations have been a difficult subject for the commission to tackle for more than a year. In January 2013, the board approved a new set of regulations with the goal of making it easier to operate certain kinds of agribusinesses.

But when an Overland Park couple in September submitted an application for their KC Pumpkin Patch, which included designs of a parking lot to accommodate 800 cars, neighbors protested. That prompted the commission to re-evaluate its regulations.

Part of the question at hand is where to draw a line between smaller agribusinesses and large-scale commercial operations that necessitate stricter regulation.

Currently, all agritourism permits are under a moratorium until April 30.

In other business Wednesday, the commission is expected to discuss a proposed master plan for Douglas County Fairgrounds improvements.

The discussion will center on a cost recovery analysis of fairgrounds events, as well as building maintenance and accessibility for the disabled.

"I'm not anticipating a vote, but I am anticipating a read, for the first time, as to where the majority of the commission might be leaning," Weinaug said of the proposed master plan.


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