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July 6, 2005

Planners schedule first reading of zoning ordinance for deaf town

From: Aberdeen American News - Aberdeen,SD,USA - Jul 6, 2005

Associated Press

SALEM, S.D. - A first reading on a zoning ordinance that could allow the development of Laurent has been set for July 19.

The McCook County Commission will consider the ordinance for the new town that would cater to the deaf and hard of hearing.

Some farmers have spoken out against the planned town. Opponents also have questioned Laurent's financial package and whether Laurent will be able to fund education.

The county's planning and zoning administrator, John Knox, said Tuesday that every step is being taken to preserve the county's farmland while embracing the economic growth a new town can bring.

"As opposed to having hundreds, literally hundreds of acreages out there, we have a huge tax base built in to 260, 270 acres that doesn't interfere with the farmland," Knox said in an interview.

Laurent needs a new zoning ordinance because the county's use-based zoning does not allow for construction of a new town. Backers say a planned development project would foster organized, controlled growth in the county.

Developers have options to purchase land about three miles south of Salem.

© 2005 AP Wire and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.