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After delaying formal decisions on the matter in both November and December, Lyon County commissioners will vote on the approval of updated county zoning regulations during a regularly-scheduled action session Thursday.

The topic will be discussed at 9:15 a.m., during which time commissioners will decide to accept the changes as written, reject new additions or send the regulations back to the county Planning and Appeals Board for further study. A public comment period will follow directly after.

“Back at the end of November, the Planning and Appeals Board voted to submit draft 5.1 of the zoning regulations to be approved,” County Zoning Officer Sam Seeley said. “[Commissioners] wanted to appoint [District #2 Commissioner Doug Peck] before they decided on anything so that the district was represented along with the others. That was the only reason for delay.”

Throughout the nearly four-year long process, proponents of the new zoning regulations have said they will help streamline construction for rural property owners, allowing an individual to avoid a potentially lengthy process in the event they decide to add a structure to their land.

On the other side of the aisle, detractors have said the updates open the door for added confusion, unnecessary bureaucracy and the potential for governmental overreach into matters of private property. In addition to frequent input at government meetings from those opposing the changes, several protest petitions have also been circulated throughout rural Lyon County, with some gaining more than 1,000 signatures.

Regardless of the county’s eventual decision, Seeley said he hoped those voicing their opinions on the matter were taking the time to study the actual text of the draft in order to “gain context” rather than simply accepting what has been written about it on social media.

“For one, in no way are we planning or are we going to use eminent domain to take people’s rightfully-owned land and install a trail or something else for the public’s leisure or comfort,” Seeley said. “That doesn’t make any sense for us to do that.

“I know there’s another big thing going around right now saying we want to change Lyon County’s economy to focus mainly on tourism and energy. That’s not the case whatsoever, and I don’t even know where that comes from. [The Planning and Zoning Board’s] number one goal, which has been stated time and again, is the conservation of agricultural landscapes. Lyon County is ag-based and we’re industry-based, but we’ve also always looked at having multiple ways to employ the public to keep the standard of living here up to what it’s been in the past.”

The proposed zoning documents can be read in their entirety at lyoncounty.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Final5.1_Sec1-6_112020.pdf and lyoncounty.org/index/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/Final5.1_Sec7-10_112020.pdf.

The Gazette will be attending tomorrow’s meeting and will provide updates as soon as a formal decision is made.

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