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Halstead, KS 67056

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40-Acre Rule Loosening For Rural Home Builds

Posted 2/15/2018

THE Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved changes to the 40-acre rule for home sites.THE Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved changes to the 40-acre rule for home sites.NEWTON – The Harvey County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a change to the 40-acre rule for home building in Harvey County, easing restrictions and  the issue goes to the county commission next for final approval.

The 40-acre rule, which dictates a person must have a minimum of 40 acres before building a new home, has been in effect since 1987.  Some forces in the county wanted the acreage requirement dropped to 10 acres but the governing body rejected that.

“We are going to take out all of the accessory ways to split off a piece of land. It shouldn’t be in the ag zoning, it should be in subdivision regulations,” said Planning and Zoning Director Gina Bell.

The Planning and Zoning Commission has been working on the changes for almost a year.

Planning Commission member Patrick Wendling said, “We were approached by the county commission and from Realtors. The county wanted to generate tax dollars and the Commission was wanting to change something, something needed to change. A 10-acre plot anywhere was originally proposed and doing away with the 40 acres completely. That was definitely a no.”

Bell added, “When the planning commission started discussing this we all had different reasons. We had discussions amongst ourselves to begin with and one of the reasons for the change is we’re under a tax lid right now.  We don’t have any additional taxation to supplement the services that you currently have. Harvey County is in really good shape right now, but if we stay under the tax lid for very long and we don’t get any more taxes coming in, then we have to provided service under what we’ve got right now that’s fine, but I can’t guarantee that it’s going to be fine for a long time.”

Halstead Realtor Beth Ann Kingsley said “The 40 acre rule is a hindrance for people who want to move to the county and live in the country. Not only that but taxes are much higher here than surrounding counties. There is much more rural land availability in Sedgwick County.”

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