Agriculture Zoning and Subdivision
Saline County is primarily zoned Agriculture (AG). The AG zoning was adopted in March of 1978 and has remained largely unchanged. The subdivision of land, which in turn establishes the amount of available development right, was advanced as a compromise between the rural land owners who wanted to sell small acreage with homes and those who wished to retain large efficient agriculture tracts. Those parcels that existed in March of 1978 were established as "original parcels". Original parcels could be split one time with a 3 acre minimum parcel size. However, all subsequent splits could only result in 80 acre minimum tracts.
For instance, an original 6 acre tract could be split into two 3 acre tracts. An original 160 acres could only be split once because all subsequent splits would not include 80 acre tracts. The minimum original parcel size for splitting into 3 tracts is 163 acres (3 acre + 80 acre + 80 acre). 320 acres could result in 4 tracts (10 acre + 80 acre + 80 acre + 150 acre). Each legally created tract is allocated 1 dwelling unit. In sections where 4 quarters existed in separate ownership on March 14, 1978, a total of 8 homes can exist.
Through a process called a "subdivision exception" a landowner may split once again less than 80 acres provided the largest remaining parcel is designated as an Agriculture only parcel with a County enforceable deed restriction placed on the property. This allows for existing homes or development rights to be assigned to a parcel and split off agriculture lands.
The AG zoning does allow for a myriad of agriculture related and low intensity commercial uses. Many agriculture operations supplement income through related small businesses and home occupations. Recreational activities, hunting lodges, commercial stables, agriculture product retail, machine shops, kennels, and commercial greenhouses are common uses, which are permitted through the issuance of a Conditional Use Permit by the Planning and Zoning Commission following a public hearing.