County could assume Wapella zoning

Trustees considering agreement to turn village zoning over to the county


WAPELLA — Wapella trustees are looking at the possibility of asking DeWitt County to assume the village’s zoning responsibilities.

On Tuesday, the village board voted to authorize the village attorney to prepare an ordinance that would repeal the local zoning ordinance and transfer zoning authority to the county.

While the board still must vote to approve such an ordinance, trustees seemed to be in agreement the village lacked the expertise necessary to continue to administer a local zoning code.

Currently, DeWitt County government oversees zoning for most of the county, including Farmer City.  The City of Clinton administers its own zoning code.

If approved by trustees, the change would authorize the county to proscribe and enforce the ordinances that govern the usage and maintenance of properties in the village.

Se“So, we won’t have a zoning officer,” said village board president Sherry Mears.  “We’re going to have to combine our ordinances, so they’ll change a little bit.”

Mears said the idea was worth considering.

“Nobody on this board, and nobody in this town is really qualified to make some of the decisions that we make,” Mears said.

Mears said the first step in the process was approving a county assumption of zoning.  She said the second step would be an intergovernmental agreement with the county.

Trustees agreed turning zoning responsibility over to the county would make it more likely proper procedures would be followed and ensure compliance of codes.  

Wapella has struggled in the past with retaining local zoning officials to oversee the local code.

Also, Mears corrected a statement from the Oct. 1 village board meeting.  During departmental assignments, Mears inadvertently said the head of the water department would be over the park.  Mears said she intended to say the head of the water department would be over the village clerk.  The clerk processes the local water billing.