Knox City Council Discusses Two Mile Jurisdiction

Knox City Council #2
Back Row: Mayor Rick Chambers, Ed Blue, Clerk-Treasurer Jeff Houston, Greg Matt and Attorney David Matsey. Front Row: Linda Berndt, Jeff Berg and Ron Parker

The Knox City Council recently discussed the two mile jurisdiction for zoning purposes. The city has the right to go outside the borders two miles into unincorporated areas.

City Attorney, David Matsey, addressed a conflict in the ordinance as it is written. The ordinance and maps have to be brought into compliance giving the city’s Building Inspector the authority to issue permits in the two mile jurisdiction.

“We have one city ordinance that requires the city to adopt the two mile zoning jurisdiction, then we have a zoning ordinance that essentially adopts part of the two mile zoning area and then has a description that includes some areas that are even beyond the two mile zoning jurisdiction,” said Matsey.

Matsey explained why the council should be interested in having the authority to zone the maximum distance outside the city limits.

“In terms of city development and protection of the city, the reason why we have the two mile zoning is to prevent some things being constructed or built there that aren’t going to be desirable for the city. We should try and maximize our two mile zoning authority.”

Mayor Rick Chambers said if the maps don’t go up to the two mile limit, the county could control the zoning.

“Anything outside our boundaries, they do control, as far as building and zoning,” said Chambers. “We can take exactly two miles all the way around our border if we so desire. That’s by state statute.”

The council members promised to take up the matter at a future meeting. At that time, they would authorize constructing a map and ordinance that would reflect the two mile limit.