Okoboji City Council Approves 1st Reading Of Proposal To Add A New Zoning Classification; Sets Maximum Levy

Tue 2-9-2021

(Okoboji)-- The Okoboji City Council Tuesday evening approved the first reading of a proposed revision to the city's Zoning ordinance that would add a “Conservation District” to the various classifications. Jane Shuttleworth, a member of the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, told the council the additional classification is important for several reasons...Conservation District01 

"Pretty much what the benefits are it's to protect the water quality, provide erosion control, protect our natural drainage ways. Uses include conservation areas, protection of flood plains, wetlands, flood control, structures and others. And civic uses are passive uses like parks or recreational areas and preserves. So it's an idea who's time has come and it's our Planning and Zoning Board's hope that conservation and use should be called out in our zoning ordinance."

City Administrator Michael Meyers said the Conservation Zoning classification would have no impact on property values...Conservation District02 

"99 times out of 100 these are vacant properties any ways that we're talking about. So really the only assessed valuation is on the land, and I have some confirmation of that from the county assessor as well, just to kind of continue to answer that question. Again, we're talking about a zoning district, not necessarily any sort of a conservation easement or anything through the state that would give tax credits or anything like that. It's simply a zoning district. Zoning district's regulate the use of the subject property."

The proposal will come back to the council for subsequent second and third readings prior to final adoption.

Last evening's first reading was approved after a public hearing drew no comments.

The Okoboji City Council also adopted the maximum levy for property tax dollars for Fiscal Year 2022. Meyers explained what that translates too...Okoboji Max Levy 

"The proposed General Fund levy is the exact same as it was last fiscal year, which is $3.74 and continued fractions past that. So that is an increase in net property tax dollars of 2.98 percent so 2.98 percent more dollars that received last year in property taxes. So that will be kind of our, as we continue to walk through our budget that will be the maximum levy we could do. Again we could go lower than that, we just can't go higher than that."

A public hearing on that matter also drew no comments.

The council set March 9th as the date for a public hearing on the proposed budget itself.