Planning & Zoning Board Hears from Public

October 17, 2019

The Ralls County Planning and Zoning Board had two zoning change requests on their agenda on Tuesday, October 15, and both brought public comment. Prosecuting Attorney, Rodney Rodenbaugh, explained that there were not enough members of the board present to have a quorum, but there were two Ralls County Commissioners present to hear the discussion. He also explained that the vote by the Ralls County Commissioners on these two matters would not be held until Monday, October 21st, as the Commissioners will be attending a meeting on Thursday, October 17.
The first request was to change the zoning from A1 to Commercial for property owned by Jerry Ketsenburg, located west and north of Loves on Highway 19. Ketsenburg was present and explained that there were no plans or potential buyers at this time, but he wants to be prepared for future growth in that area. Larry Strode, citizen of New London, voiced his concern with increased use of the sewer lines from Loves, which then run through McQua Estates area. There has been a problem with sewer gas since Loves went in and he felt that adding to that load would just acerbate that problem. Lynn Hodges, who owns a house in McQua Estates, agreed with Strode that sewer gas is a problem. Janie White, Mayor of New London, was also attending, and she stressed that the City has no plans to annex anything in that area. Presiding Commissioner, Wiley Hibbard, advised that any development in the area would have to abide by current County and DNR regulations with regards to their sewer needs. Jeff Lewis, City of New London Utilities, added that the current system in New London has no capacity for additional users. An update would cost around two million dollars. He also stated that there are private septic systems available. Lake Hannibal Estates and Harbortown Resorts, both in Ralls County, have private systems. Strode and Hodges both added that they support growth in the area, but want to ensure that those involved are aware of the sewer issues in the City of New London.
Wiley Hibbard added that the County Commission is working with Economic Development and they want to be able to put this location on the State website and have it pushed out to attract businesses looking to build a facility. He also advised that there are grants available to help businesses get started or relocate, but the first step is having commercial property available.
After some further discussion, the board members shared their thoughts on the request and all present expressed their support of the change in zoning. The Ralls County Commissioners will make a decision on the request at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, October 21, at their meeting in the Ralls County Clerk’s office.
The second request was from James E Wisdom to change the zoning from A1 to Commercial on property that he currently owns on Rt O, just outside the Hannibal City Limits. He has purchased five acres adjacent to his home that he says are currently zoned commercial and he wants to start a small salvage yard, approximately 200 cars. He wants to use the shed that is beside his home, but is currently zoned A1. His request is to change about one acre to commercial, so he can use that building as a work shed for the salvage yard. There were about ten residents of that area in attendance at the meeting and all expressed their desire that the request be denied. After much discussion, it was decided that Mr. Wisdom will have to provide documentation that the five acres he bought are actually zoned commercial, which was disputed. If that commercial zoning can be documented then the Commissioners will consider that information when they vote on the request on Monday, October 21st, at 10:15 a.m. at their meeting in the Ralls County Clerk’s office.
Members of the public can attend the Ralls County Commission meeting on Monday.