Planning & Zoning - the Real Story
Questions from Tuesday, 10/28/97
Question: I have seven acres. Will I need to get a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) to keep a horse on this amount of land?
His Answer: Yes. CUPs are required for farm animals on Rural Residential, R1 and R2. You may have farm animals on as little as three acres or less, but it will require a CUP. The reason for this is that with the confinement rearing of animals, you can house a large number of animals on a small acreage. With CUPs, you can monitor situations where someone might buy 10 or 20 acres and raise several hundred hogs or several thousand chickens on this amount of land. CUPs are not meant to prevent owners from having the normal amount of livestock on small acreages.
My Comment: At last they admit it - but with a lot of editorial comment in what is supposed to be "factual" answers! This answer could have been in Friday's paper, but it appears they hadn't thought it through. Let's prepare for the rush of all the small property owners with livestock to parade in for their CUPs (either Conditional or Continuing, as the case may be).
Question: If zoning is passed, won't my property taxes go up?
His Answer: No. The Johnson County Assessor's Office assured the Temporary Planning and Zoning Commission that zoning would not increase property taxes. The property taxes in Johnson County will be higher this year, but that is due to the statewide reassessment and that had nothing to do with the zoning issue.
My Comment: We don't know. The means of paying for P&Z has ever been made public. If you are running a business without telling the assessor (tsk, tsk, shame on you), this gives him another means of catching you. And, I thought the Hancock Amendment required them to roll back tax rates so they wouldn't get any more money from reassessment!
Question: If zoning passes, can it be repealed?
His Answer: Yes. If zoning passes, it can be repealed by the same methods by which it was voted in. This happened in Lafayette County. The voters of Lafayette County passed county zoning and then with a later vote, zoning was repealed. A short time after repealing zoning, it was voted back in for a second time and zoning is in existence in Lafayette County at the present time.
My Comment: Yes, we can & they did. Of course, mentioning that they voted it back in wasn't intended to influence voters at all, right?
Question: I currently live on 40 acres and I read in one of the ads that if I sold or transferred my property to a new owner, I would have to contact the zoning administrator. Why would I have to do that?
His Answer: You will not have to contact the zoning administrator on the sale or transfer of property unless the new owner wants to change the use of the property. Then a zoning change is needed. As long as the use of the property does not change when sold, there is no need to contact the zoning administrator.
My Comments: The rationale is fine, but the ordinance (Page 37, para. B) says "Prior to the sale, transfer, subdivision, or lot split of any property, the owner shall contact the zoning administrator to determine the applicability of these regulations to the proposed land action." The Rules (page 2, para. 1A(1)(d) say "The word "shall" is mandatory." So, what Densil really should have said is that if you proceed without contacting the administrator, you do so at your own risk.