Woman says county officials aren’t helping her solve problem
County commissioners got an earful Monday when Junette Bealby complained that she couldn’t build a house or a shed for her horse on property she bought at Marion County Lake, even though she knew about the problems when she bought the property.
She is now angry that the county isn’t moving fast enough to resolve the problems.
Bealby and her husband must leave the Herington rental house where they live because it has been sold, but cannot build a house or a shed for her horse and Dingo dog to live in on the property they purchased.
The property, at 1770 Rose Lane, contains a dried pond not on the plat, a road turnaround that Bealby wants vacated, and an unnecessary easement, she said. The changes are necessary to have space to build a shed and a house.
Bealby complained planning and zoning director Sharon Omstead was not handling her requests quickly enough. She said she went to planning and zoning to request changes early this month and Ohmstead said she could not put in a shed without getting a permit.
Bealby also said an application to relinquish the turnaround was presented to her later.
“We didn’t know it was going to take this long,” Bealby said. “We thought we were going to hurry up, hurry up.”
Omstead was there for the public comment session when Bealby spoke. She said the county has to go through a process of having a public comment session before the zoning commission can make any changes, and the next planning and zoning commission meeting is in December.
Bealby said people in the planning and zoning office “have hoods over their heads” and “are incompetent.”
She said she would bring in a shed for her animals whether the county gives her permission or not.
“I want to know what’s going to happen to me,” Bealby said. “I’m going to bring in my shed.”
Ohmstead said a public meeting needed to be held on the question of vacating the road turnaround. Ohmstead told commissioners Bealby made her request after the agenda for last week’s meeting was set.
“A lot of this was discussed prior to the purchase,” Ohmstead told commissioners. “I myself talked to her and explained the process to her before they bought the land.”
County clerk Tina Spencer said Bealby’s request is being worked on by both the clerk’s office and planning and zoning.
Commissioner Dianne Novak said she’s disappointed that Bealby has had this problem and offered to contact farmers and ranchers who might be able to provide shelter for her animals.
Ohmstead said the horse could be temporarily sheltered in a road-ready shed mounted on wheels, which would not need a permit.
Commissioner Kent Becker said the county does have a process it must go through before a variance or building permit can be granted.
“I think until that turnaround is vacated, we can’t do anything about it,” Becker said.