Okoboji City Council Considers Possible Addition Of "Conservation" Classification To The City's Zoning Ordinance

Wed 7-10-2019

(Okoboji)-- A recommendation by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission to add a “Conservation District” to the zoning classifications was a major topic of discussion at Tuesday evening's Okoboji City Council meeting.

A citizen at the meeting expressed concern over the potential impact the designation could have on the city's property tax base...Conservation Zoning01 

"If you take an R-1 property that's taxed at 10 mil or whatever, and you move it to conservation, what's the millage rate for that conservation land and what's the difference between the R-1 millage and the conservation millage. And what's the impact, then, to the city of Okoboji if we have 40 or 50 acres eventually in conservation now, how does that impact the tax revenue for the city of Okoboji?"

Councilman Jerry Robinson echoed the concern...Conservation Zoning02 

"I mean I'm not looking at whether we should be throwing up 200, 300 new houses around here but are we going to restrict future growth or is that what, part of what this is aimed at doing? I understand the conservation part."

Another councilman, Jim Delperdang, expressed concern that the Conservation District classification as it is currently being proposed would still allow for the construction of certain things in those areas...Conservation Zoning03 

"When you ask somebody what a conservation district is I'm sure they think of open spaces, marshlands, and here you have an out to build a library, a office building for a non-profit."

After some further discussion the council voted to send the matter back to the Planning and Zoning Commission for revision, and directed city staff to calculate the potential impact it would have on the city's tax base.