LaPaz Residents Speak out Against Ordinance Amendment

The Marshall County Commissioners held a public hearing Monday morning to take comments on the proposed ordinance amendment on the Commercial Overlay District.

The ordinance encompasses all of Marshall County, but some LaPaz citizens spoke out about the ordinance as they’re worried about commercial development with the overpass on U.S. 6 and the new U.S. 31.

Residents are concerned about existing businesses that were “displaced” when the new U.S. 31 was constructed. Most traffic now passes by LaPaz instead of through LaPaz and taxpayers are concerned about those establishments. Agriculture ground was also a focus of concern as commercial developments could dig into the county’s agribusiness district.

Plan Director Ralph Booker explained that the ordinance amendment states that the intent of the overlay is to establish a district designed and intended to accommodate retail, auto related uses and other uses that are compatible to underlying districts. He stated the overlay is part of the Town of LaPaz’s comprehensive plan.

Commissioners Deb Griewank and Kurt Garner passed the first reading of the ordinance amendment on a 2-0 vote. Commission President Kevin Overmyer was not present. The second reading of the ordinance amendment will be offered at the commissioners’ next meeting on Monday, March 16.