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Local

Regional planning commission eliminated

Some old duties will be transferred to zoning board

Grundy County Land Use Director Heidi Miller presented an ordinance Tuesday evening at to dissolve the Regional Planning Commission. The board approved the ordinance unanimously.
Grundy County Land Use Director Heidi Miller presented an ordinance Tuesday evening at to dissolve the Regional Planning Commission. The board approved the ordinance unanimously.

MORRIS – The Grundy County Regional Planning Commission is no more. The Grundy County Board voted at its regular meeting Tuesday to terminate the commission and move its responsibilities to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Board Chairman Chris Balkema, R-District 2, said he hoped people would learn that the process in Grundy County is getting more efficient.

“This is a great savings to the county in terms of time and expediency of the process,” he said.

The proposal first came in February when Heidi Miller, director of the county’s land use department, said that Grundy was one of the few counties that had many paths for permit applicants to navigate.

“We have had comments from developers in the past that have said the process for a map amendment or special uses is so time consuming, and there is confusion in the process itself,” Miller said at the time.

Miller said that one concern about eliminating the commission was the loss of institutional knowledge held by members of the commission. The brain drain was alleviated somewhat by moving some members of the commission to the ZBA. The ZBA expanded from five to seven members. Other commission members were appointed to fill vacancies from retirements.

The board also passed a text amendment that removed references to the planning commission from the counties unified development ordinance.

The board approved two petitions for special use for solar farms in Grundy County, one in Wauponsee Township and one near Gardner.

The board approved appointments to the board of appeals for Allen Skwarcynski, Mark Hill, Sid Nelson and Lisa Lynch to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The board approved appointing Robert Breisch as chairman of the ZBA and Allen Skwarcynski as vice chairman.

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