The Cherry County Planning and Zoning Commission held two public meetings on Wednesday to allow public input on the new proposed 122 page county comprehensive plan. About 20 citizens attended the meeting held at the Valentine public library. Planning commission Chairman Duane Kime, board members Sheri Bacon and Gary Swanson along with newly appointed member Marla Shelbourn, where
there to help answer questions. Consultant Keith Marvin, who has helped formulate the plan, was also in attendance.

The discussion grew heated at times. There were concerns expressed that the time of the meeting was not conducive to ranchers attending while they try to put up hay. The board members took some heat for removing some of the references against wind development. Carolyn Semin voiced several points of concern about the new document, including claims there has not been enough public input.

Other attendees expressed thoughts that they would rather Cherry County didn’t have any zoning and property owners could do what they want with their property. Another citizen said that he wanted Cherry County to stay exactly the way it is right now. One audience member voiced his feelings that the county needs to be very careful because zoning can be a deterrent to agricultural diversity and stifle future generations.

Mr. Marvin stated that there will be a public hearing possibly in October or early November before the planning commission would vote on the plan and refer to the County Commission. Some citizens asked for a delay to allow more time for public discussion.

Copies of the comprehensive plan and zoning resolution books are available at Midland News for a fee.