The Madison City Commission heard the first reading on Monday of a change to the city’s rules in providing a majority vote for approving conditional-use permits that are requested by property owners.

The members of the municipal planning and zoning committee recommended that the city commissioners approve a change that will allow two-thirds of a quorum of committee members present at a meeting to approve a conditional-use permit. Under past state laws, zoning committees had to approve a conditional-use permit with a two-thirds vote of all members.

Chad Comes, city engineer, said the South Dakota lawmakers had changed state law during the 2015 session, allowing for the less-restrictive voting threshold.  

For Madison, the current rules would require that five out of the current roster of commission members attend a meeting with a conditional-use permit vote and that all five vote in approval of the permit request. Under the new rules, an applicant would only need a quorum of the current committee and two-thirds approval of the committee members that are present.

According to Comes, the change in voting only applies to conditional-use permits, not to variance requests. Variances still require two-thirds approval of all committee members.

The city commissioners approved the first reading and scheduled a hearing on the rule change in two weeks at 5:35 p.m. on Feb 8.