Marilyn Vaughan simply wanted to renew an "Agricultural District" designation for her tracts, which protects farmer's rights. 

Her only tract inside the city limits is across the street from Sam's Club - pretty much the last farmland on Bridge Street - and potentially a development called "Guernsey Crossing." 

But she says she never expected the hearing and procedure she was in Monday night. 

Aside from being the focus of a public hearing, it was reported that the tract was NOT being farmed.  But Vaughan says they left it fallow because of testing for development, and there's still time to plant soy beans. 

Development chair Nancy Ames explained the procedure...and that this was not only the first time council has dealt with this, but that this should have happened before. 

Ames said she sympathizes with the owner, but procedure had to be followed.  She says past renewals should have come before council ever since the tract was annexed...but they apparently hadn't. 

The city must take action 30 days after this hearing, and Ames says a "no" vote is the best action for the city - and for the owner, because of penalties for developing it.  

Vaughan says she resents the rigmarole and want to know why she was "in the dark" until now.   

Council should make a decision on the designation within a month. 

Council also funded the $267,500 year one for the city parks plan - and after a long discussion, covered $10,000 of expenses in the Civil Service Commission. 

Kevin Coleman regularly reports on Chillicothe & Circleville councils and local culture