Dubuque County is continuing to struggle with the challenges of ag-residential zoning, which allows landowners to build a second home on rural property.

On Sept. 14, the Dubuque County supervisors held public hearings on five applications for re-zoning.

Applications had been on hold while landowners Mark and Lorie Riniker sued the county over denial of their rezoning application.

On April 30 judge Monica Ackley ruled in favor of the Rinikers. The county is now appealing her decision to the Iowa Supreme Court.

The most controversial rezoning discussed Sept. 14 is located about a mile west of Balltown. TMB of Dyersville LLC, Kurt and Christine Burbach and Jamie and Samantha Boyes applied for the permit.

Initially, the owners applied for rezoning to allow three homes on the property, resulting in continuing confusion. The supervisors ultimately approved subdivision for one home on the property.

Most of the property is a registered tree farm, and the land is unsuitable for crop production. “I think probably this is a pretty good utilization of a piece of ground that’s not good for anything else,” said supervisor Daryl Klein. He added that he would be more comfortable if it were classified as a scrub parcel.

Several neighbors spoke against the rezoning during the public hearing, while the owners presented the supervisors with 21 letters of support.

Other issues triggered by the rezoning include the need to upgrade lanes when they lead to more homes.

Rezoning of Whitewater Township, rural Dyersville, rural Epworth and rural Bankston properties were considered by the board of supervisors Sept. 14.