The Marshall County Commissioners decided to take more time to decide upon a commercial overlay district for Marshall County until more research is conducted.
Plan Director Ralph Booker presented the ordinance amendment for the Marshall County Zoning Ordinance that would allow commercial uses such as auto repair and maintenance facilities, as well as bakeries, drug stores, hotels and motels, offices, restaurants, small wind systems, and special uses such as communications towers, light industry and self storage units.
One area that would be affected would be the Town of LaPaz from U.S. 6 to Linden Road, which includes agriculture space for potential development around the new U.S. 31 interchange. It was explained in clearer detail that the LaPaz officials want to be able to annex that area to capture any taxes and utility service expansions that may occur. Property owners may be hesitant to agree to annexation if parcels are developed.
Commissioner Kurt Garner explained that he went to the recent LaPaz Town Board meeting and heard the concerns of the board. He said this amendment could potentially hurt the progress of a TIF District in that area. Commissioner Garner suggested meeting with LaPaz officials, Marshall County Economic Development Corporation Executive Director Jerry Chavez and the planning director to get a better perspective on how to “do it right the first time”.
Commissioner Kevin Overmyer said development by the new U.S. 31 overpass could lead to better things for the Town of LaPaz, especially with the new installation of dark fiber in the Metronet project.
Several residents also opposed the amendment during the public hearing earlier this month, stating that they are afraid that all businesses would move out to the new U.S. 31 and abandon the stores in downtown LaPaz. They want to preserve the downtown area, and the town officials want to annex where the new U.S. 31 is for potential development.
The commissioners voted unanimously to table the ordinance for more research.