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Town seeks neighbor-friendly resolution in illegal land split PDF Print E-mail
Written by MITCH MAERSCH   
Wednesday, 27 April 2016 18:03

The Town of Belgium Plan Commission is trying to develop a fair resolution to an illegal land division.

The A-2 zoned 21.25-acre property at 7054 Hwy. LL was split without the town’s permission, a violation of town ordinance.

Zoning Administrator Charlie Parks acknowledged that people make mistakes, but he said residents should call the town before dividing their land.

“Unless you’re an absolute imbecile, all towns are zoned and have rules,” he said.

Property owner Joshua Posthuma sold the 2-acre piece that included a home to Steve Jacoby, who said he didn’t know the land was illegally divided. Posthuma retained the 19.25-acre portion.

Since the property is less than 35 acres and zoned agricultural, it is considered substandard and thus may not be divided, according to town ordinance.

The commission last week discussed several options to address the situation. While proceeding with a lawsuit didn’t receive much support, Parks warned not to set a precedent that encourages more ordinance violations.

“You have to give people the benefit of the doubt. Some people want to drop the hammer on this. We are neighbors,” he said.

Options moving forward included forfeiting the possibilities for rezoning, conditional uses or building permits; and holding an after-the-fact variance hearing in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

The commission agreed town and county officials should inspect the property for septic compliance, and Grota Appraisals, the town’s assessor, should do a follow-up inspection for compliance and reassessment.

After that, the commission agreed to let the Zoning Board of Appeals set conditions on the property. That meeting has not yet been scheduled.

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