Nemaha County Remains Among Nebraska’s Last Zoned

AUBURN – Nemaha County commissioners offered differing views regarding countywide zoning that could impact people who want to build new houses in areas that rely on dirt roads.

The Nebraska Intergovernmental Risk Management Association sent commissioners guidelines on developing zoning regulations that would cause people building houses on undeveloped roads to share in the road costs.

Commissioner Marvin Bohling: “You’re going to open a big can of worms. And, if you want your community to grow, you’re going to be eliminating those, basically, is what’s going to happen.”

Commissioner Bryan Mellage: “Whether you pay for it or not, we at least need to know what’s going on. We don’t have a clue.”

Mellage said he supports some sort of zoning for Nemaha County, but Commissioner  Bohling said zoning could be too restrictive.

Bohling: “If you’ve got to spend $300,000 in order to get a road up to where they can get down it, put in a bridge, or whatever else, I understand that, but you’re wanting … Are you going to eliminate people like Abraham from building that house because you can’t build that road or are you going to eliminate the Turkey Ranch?

Mellage: “We are not going to eliminate it. We’re going to know ahead of …

Bohling: “You’re going to make them pay for part of it?

Mellage: “That’s part of the conversation.”

Commissioner Bob Hutton said landowners are supposed to inform the county assessor if there is new residential construction.

Mellage: “We don’t have any permit process in Nemaha County, none. None.

Hutton said Nemaha County is one of three counties that is not zoned.

Bohling said the county has been aware of new houses going up recently and said zoning would not have gained the county anything.

Bohling: “I’m not against zoning per se, but every time you limit somebody’s capabilities you’ve got two sides to every issue. They tried to zone this county once before for hog houses and stuff and then it died because they were not getting it zoned the way they wanted it to be zoned.”

He said people in other counties have to pay $75 just to put a deck on their house.

The guidelines would place the cost of engineering to design an upgraded road, as well as the cost of rock and drainage structures, on the person building the house on a minimum maintenance road.

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