Planning & Zoning - the Real Story
Questions from Wednesday, 10/29/97
Question: Will housing developments be allowed in the outer county if zoning passes?
His Answer: Yes. This is why there are R1, R2 and R3 zoning areas. The developer would apply for the proper zoning depending on the concentration of homes in the subdivision. The developer would need to have a plat of the property and show the roads would meet county standards and the sewage disposal system was in place.
My Comment: True. However, the lack of a comprehensive plan for what areas are suitable for subdivisions means that someone could buy a farm and still wake up one morning to find a subdivision next door. Maybe they should have included a way for farmers to prevent subdivisions!
Question: I have heard that if zoning passes, I won't be able to change oil or work on my vehicle in my own driveway. Is that true?
His Answer: No, that is not true. There is nothing in the zoning document that would prevent you from working on your vehicle in your driveway or any place else on your property.
My Comment: Correct. This is one of the provisions of the original document that the high-priced big-city consultants tried to foist upon us, but was removed in an earlier stage after some public uproar at the Township meetings.
Question: Does the zoning commission have the final say on zoning matters?
His Answer: No. After zoning requests go through the proper channels, then the county zoning commission will make a recommendation to the Johnson County Commission. The county commissioners are the governing body of Johnson County and they will then act on the zoning request after taking the zoning commission recommendation into consideration.
My Comment: Finally, he has this right, if simplified - the answer on last Wednesday was wrong! To see just how complex the process is, see the flow chart in the half page ad in the Star Advertiser & Holden Image-Progress.
Question: I presently have a home on less than three acres and I have been told I won't be able to sell this house because it is on less than three acres?
His Answer: This is not true. If the home is presently located on less than three acres, it may be sold at any time you want.
My Comments: Correct; the grandfather clause applies here, too. However, how a buyer can use the property, other than as strictly a residence, is restricted, which may lower its desirability and market value.