What is Ordinance 65?

  • Ordinance 65 is an ordinance adopted by the Codington County Commissioners on December 27, 2016.

What does Ordinance 65 do?

  • Ordinance 65 readopted the 40 zoning related ordinances that had been previously adopted by the County between 2001 and 2017.
  • Ordinance 65 does not affect the status of any current litigation.

What did the 40 previously adopted zoning ordinances do?

  • 26 of those ordinances related to the rezoning of property (for example: agriculture to commercial)
  • 14 of those ordinances related to new or amended zoning policy (regulations)
    • Ordinance 18 – Target Shooting Ranges
    • Ordinance 23 – Allowing for accessory uses in the Ag District (for example: a detached garage)
    • Ordinance 30 – This was a comprehensive update of the 2001 Ordinance and subsequent amendments that dealt with many land use issues.
    • Ordinance 38 – Religious Conference Facilities (Joy Ranch)
    • Ordinance 39 – Manufactured Home Park Regulations
    • Ordinance 42 – Temporary Fireworks Storage as conditional use
    • Ordinance 43 – Amended rules relating to Wind Energy Systems
    • Ordinance 45 – Adopted Flood Plain Regulations for the county
      • FEMA has notified the county that reverting back to floodplain regulation prior to Ordinance 45 would result in all residents of the county losing the ability to get flood insurance which would bring mortgages on homes with flood insurance due. It would also disqualify the county and any townships from qualifying for aid in the event of a disaster, and disqualify the county for various government funding sources.
    • Ordinance 48 – Created rules to allow for the Watertown Transportation Facility to be located at its current location
    • Ordinance 55 – Creates Rural Residential Zoning District
    • Ordinance 58 – Deals with Off-Premise Signs
    • Ordinance 61 – Adoption of Joint Jurisdiction Zoning Regulations (City of Watertown)
    • Ordinance 63 – Amendment to town districts for accessory uses (apply to Waverly, Grover, and Kampeska Village)
    • Ordinance 64 – Amended rules relating to the construction of residences within 1/2 mile of a Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation

Why did Codington County adopt Ordinance 65?

  • In an on-going legal dispute, despite upholding the issuance of a conditional use permit by the Board of Adjustment, a circuit court judge has recently ruled that the County may not have used the proper procedure to adopt Ordinance 30 in 2006. The County and petitioners are currently appealing that decision. As of December 27, 2016 it was uncertain whether the County may have followed a similar process for adopting other zoning ordinance amendments between 2001 and 2017. This uncertainty combined with the fact that it will be some time before the existing disputed legal issue is settled, the County Commissioners chose to readopt rules that have been in place for years in order to provide consistency and continue to do the county’s business relating to zoning and the issuance of building permits.

With the referendum election moving forward, can the County issue building permits?

  • On February 7, 2017 the county declared a 2 week moratorium on any new building/use permits in order to review the 40 previously adopted ordinances to ensure they were adopted correctly.
  • On February 22, 2017, the Commissioners lifted the building/use permit moratorium for any structures or uses authorized by Zoning Ordinances presumed to be valid based upon the decision of the Circuit Court Judge in November of 2016 (see below: slide 3 – Ord65presentation022217). Building permits may not be issued for uses or structures authorized by the 13 zoning related ordinances presumed to be invalid. This moratorium will remain in effect until the determination of the referendum election or subsequent court decisions on Ordinance 30; and may be extended depending upon the outcome(s).

What question is being addressed by the referendum election?

  • The vote will be answering the question of do you agree with the county readopting all of the previously adopted zoning regulation amendments since 2001?
  • The vote will not repeal any zoning regulation regardless of whether it is presumed valid or invalid.

What will happen if the referendum election retains Ordinance #65?

  • The County will be able to issue building and use permits consistent with previously adopted rules which were readopted in Ordinance 65.
  • Those building and use permits previously issued between 2001 and 2016 that have been presumed invalid based upon November 2016 Circuit Court decision invalidating Ordinance 30 will be validated.
  • FEMA will recognize Codington County as a participating community in the National Flood Insurance Program which will allow individuals to retain existing or obtain new flood insurance policies.

What happens if the referendum election repeals Ordinance 65?

  • The County would restrict itself from issuing zoning and building permits to those requests that are in compliance with those previously adopted ordinances determined to be valid until the Ordinance 30 court decision is rendered.
  • If the Court determines that Ordinance 30 was adopted correctly in 2006, then all ordinances adopted legally between 2001 and 2017 would be in effect and Ordinance 65 would not have been necessary and the referendum election would be moot.
  • If the Court determines that Ordinance 30 was not adopted correctly in 2006 combined with Ordinance 65 being repealed, then only those ordinances legally adopted between 2001 and 2017 would be in effect.
    • The repeal of Ordinance 65 and an unfavorable decision by the court relating to Ordinance 30 will result in some properties in the county to have buildings or uses that do not conform to the regulation and therefore are nonconforming or illegal. Those buildings and/or uses would not be able to be expanded or replaced in the event of a calamity until new rules are adopted which deal with those specific buildings/uses. (See the below links for explanation of rules/uses which would no longer be valid.)


Ordinance 65

  • A working document with policy changes to the Zoning Ordinance since 2001 identified by ordinance of adoption is available from the zoning office electronically upon request.


Ord65Presentation022217 (Ordinance 65 Presentation to County Commissioners on 2/22/17)

December 27, 2016 Codington County Board of Commissioners Meeting

February 7, 2017 Codington County Board of Commissioners Meeting

  • Accept Petitions to refer Ordinance #65, set election date, establish moratorium on all building permits until 2/21/17. Item taken up by the Board @ 1:29:42 (hh:mm:ss) at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oP3eHP0KtJ8

February 22, 2017 Codington County Board of Commissioners Meeting

  • Zoning Officer/State’s Attorney Report on status of preceding Zoning Ordinances and summary of court cases; establishment of moratorium on building permits that would be authorized by ordinances presumed to be invalid. Item taken up by the Board @ 14:47 (mm:ss) at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASLLEjr7KlM

February 28, 2017 Codington County Board of Commissioners Meeting

  • Zoning Officer/States’s Attorney report on changes to CAFO Regulations adopted in Ordinance #30 (re-adopted in Ordinance 65), the history of enforcement relating to setbacks. Item taken up by the Board @ 1:08:33 (hh:mm:ss) at this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23ucds3TCeE

Ord65Presentation022817updated Compatibility Mode

Aquifer Protection District Map