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Public hearing set July 21 in Backus on proposed land use ordinance changes

The Cass County Planning Commission will hold a public hearing at 11 a.m. July 21 at the land department building in Backus on proposed changes to the county land use ordinance.

That hearing will begin a 30-day review period in which the public is encouraged to comment on the changes. This will enable making any additional changes before a second hearing is scheduled, which will be before the county board.

To lessen the number of variances, the planning commission proposes to allow additions to non-conforming structures when the addition itself meets all setback requirements. It is proposed to allow animals not traditionally considered domestic, such as chickens and rabbits, on riparian lots, with criteria for such keeping.

The planning commission proposes to allow subdividing a platted lot by certificate of survey into two lots that meet current buildable lot size without going through the entire platting process.

Use of mechanized equipment on steep slope/bluff zones would be prohibited except as authorized by environmental services department.

The word "advisory" would be dropped from references in the ordinance, because the planning commission makes final decisions and is not just advisory to another body.