Gluckstadt leaders concerned about lack of input on how to handle continued growth

By NIKKI ROWELL,

Gluckstadt continues to grow in both commercial and residential arenas, as the number of businesses and homes added to the county tax roll within the proposed Gluckstadt boundaries from year to year proves.

However, proposed Gluckstadt leadership and supporters of the incorporation effort would like to have more of a say in how the growth is handled.

Recently, the Madison County Planning Commission voted to approve the county’s comprehensive plan, including plans for zoning and future land use. Appointed Gluckstadt Mayor Walter Morrison said Gluckstadt cannot develop its own comprehensive plan or establish zoning plans until the incorporation trial has ended and the fate of the proposed city is decided.

“We have no legal authority to do anything until Gluckstadt becomes a city,” Morrison said. “That is really what has frustrated us so much in the last year or so. And, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. For instance, of course Gluckstadt wants significant commercial development. What city wouldn’t? The thing is, it has to be done wisely. There has to be some plan in place.”

“There has to be some concept of zoning so that you can have commercial development and residential development, and everybody can live in harmony,” he added.

According to the Madison County Tax Assessor Norman Cannady, the estimated true value for real property within the proposed boundaries of Gluckstadt has increased $63,625,900 since 2016. The estimated true value is $480,199,000 for 2019. In 2018, the true value totaled $466,328,600.

According to the 2019 tax roll, there were 62 single residences added to the tax roll within the proposed limits of Gluckstadt, up from 42 the previous year. In 2016 and 2017, a total of 14 single residences were added to the county tax roll, four and 10 respectively.

Twelve new businesses were added to the county tax roll for 2019, including an auto agency or garage, daycare or nursery, two office buildings, a medical office, three office/warehouse, a restaurant, a shop and two warehouses.

The types of businesses that are added to the county tax roll within the proposed boundaries of Gluckstadt has been a much-debated issue for years, especially since the incorporation efforts began.

“The past year has shown, the local residents, the people who would live in the city of Gluckstadt, really have no say in what goes on in their very backyard,” Morrison said. “The Madison County board of supervisors, to my knowledge, have approved every single zoning request that they have been presented with. Many of which have been over the objections of people who live in the Gluckstadt community.”

The incorporation case is ongoing, after Canton filed a cross appeal against the court’s final decree to approve the incorporation of Gluckstadt and the 2018 jurisdictional ruling back in May 2019.

Morrison’s concern, which is shared by other residents of Gluckstadt, is that if the incorporation effort is successful and Gluckstadt becomes a city, they will face a challenge with planning and zoning.

“Once the Madison County board of supervisors approves a commercial development, I don’t think that once we become a city, we can unapprove it. That would certainly be unfair to the business owner,” Morrison said. “That’s why it’s so important for us to become a city and have some say in these processes.”

*The tax roll numbers were provided by Madison County Tax Assessor Norman Cannady for informational purposes only. The values and structure counts are based on the tax roll as approved by the board of supervisors each year. Numbers are subject to change.

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