Houston County commissioners voted to place term limits on members of their planning commission on Tuesday, Oct. 29.

Planning commissioners will be limited to three consecutive three-year terms, after which they will be required to sit out for three years before being eligible to serve again.

Current planning commission members will be able to serve out the remainder of their terms regardless of the nine-year limit. There are seven Houston County Planning Commissioners. Six are county residents who have been appointed by the county board, while the seventh spot is held by an elected official - one of the county commissioners.

Planning Commissioner Bruce Lee will finish his term on 12-31-13. He began serving in 1990. One year later, the terms of Charles Wieser, Garland Moe, and Dan Griffin expire. Wieser has served since 1974, while Moe has served since 1992. Griffin is finishing his first term, so would be eligible for two more stints; therefore two more openings will exist for terms beginning Jan. 1, 2015. At the end of 2015, Terry Rosendahl and Glen Kruse finish their terms. Rosendahl began his service to the board in 2000, while Kruse started in 1996, so by January of 2016, five of six appointed commissioners will be replaced.

A member of the county board is assigned to the planning commission on a yearly basis.

On a related note, two county commissioners reported attending the first meeting of the Houston County Ordinance Study Group on Oct. 28. Planning commission members and township officers were invited to attend, as well as members of the Board of Adjustment. The group will meet again in about a month. Commissioner Dana Kjome reported after that session the plan is to ratchet up the schedule and meet every two weeks.

Commissioner Steve Schuldt attended with Kjome. He said that the group will investigate a wide variety of issues related to county's land use ordinances and make recommendations for updates and revisions to the board, hopefully by the end of the year.

Topics discussed included the inclusion of a whole range of interim use permits for quarries, recreational housing, temporary hardship housing, hunting cabin leasing, small businesses, and temporary agricultural housing.

The group also noted the need to define what constitutes a campground, making one-lot subdivisions "less cumbersome" for builders, adding a "Planned Use Development" ordinance, investigating transfers of development rights, and more.

Under wastewater, an "illicit discharge and connection" ordinance may be added for anything other than storm water. Septic systems were also discussed, with a recommendation that winter drain field inspections should be delayed until spring.