County changes 40-acre rule for rural home construction
By Betsy Ryan
Farmer Staff Writer
Would-be homesteaders and hobby farmers can now have their dreams come true in McKenzie County. On July 17, the McKenzie County Planning and Zoning Department added one small section to the county Zoning Ordinances that will have a huge impact on current and prospective landowners in the county.
Since 2015, a landowner in McKenzie County was required to have at least 40 acres of agricultural land to build a home. Now, with the approval of the McKenzie County Commissioners, landowners can now obtain a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to build a home on as little as five acres.
The “40-Acre Rule” has been a point of discussion, and sometimes controversy, throughout the county since its inception. Aimed to protect agricultural land and keep land uses together, the rule was adopted during a time of rapid growth in McKenzie County. At that time, the county was still ironing out the details of their first ever comprehensive land use plan.
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