Johnson County Missouri
Planning & Zoning
See what the people and institutions backing the plan have to say and decide if the their intent and philosophy is what you want governing your land use. Don't mind the little bit of 'analysis' that comes with each comment - it's there for humor only.
Excerpts from the statement of Natalie Prussing Halpin as delivered in writing to the Zoning Commission Work Session on 2/17/97:
"..close observation shows that it is those few Johnson Countians raising objections, whose intentions should be questioned. Their motives seem to be most self serving."
Analysis: Ms. Halpin, with substantial inherited wealth, impugns the motives of citizens with legitimate questions about provisions which could affect their livelihoods.
- "We are a group of citizens [Johnson County Planning for the Future Committee], who wish to see County Planing and Zoning voted in. We urge you to adopt a plan that will guarantee our quality of life and protect property values." [empahsis added]
Analysis: The quality of life for the established 'haves' is to be protected from citizens of lower socio-economic status by making it difficult for them to acquire and build on rural land.
- "Neighbors and people driving through the countryside are appalled at many areas in the county. One can hardly go down a gravel road without coming upon these eye sores [junky front yards with inoperable vehicles, stacks of trash, junk, discarded tires, etc.]."
Analysis: This statement brooks two interpretations: that it is OK to have junk in one's back yard as long as it cannot be seen, or that junky living will not be tolerated in our county. It also raises the question of who will police the junk; will it be someone who, to paraphrase Justice Potter Stewart's comments on pornography, can't define it but knows it when they see it?
- "This is the number one concern when Johnson Countians are asked, 'What do you want County Zoning to address?' Their first answer is 'junky residences'."
Analysis: I'm glad to hear that our top priority should be to force people to be neat. Perhaps, then, these people will become top students, eschew drugs and crime and violence, and contribute to the economic progress of the nation. If they're breaking the law by being messy, maybe they're doing something else illegal, too. Of course, this is stereotyping that we in our diverse and politically correct community must endeavor to avoid unless the obect of the stereotype is 'po white trash.'
Excerpts from the lead editorial, "Warrensburg Daily Star Journal", 2/18/97; title "Present Commission Would Make Good Board":
"There is good reason to believe the Johnson County Temporary Planning and Zoning Commission could be more effective in implementing a voter approved plan than a newly elected board.... members have a background on the subject of planning and zoning in Johnson County that no other group could possibly have."
Analysis: So much for the people exercising their will through their democratically elected representatives.
- "Therefore, there could be no better cross section of Johnson County residents and their varied occupations to serve on the board."
Analysis: In its infinite wisdom, our County Commission has picked the best of all possible Boards. By the way, do any members qualify as 'poor folks', or don't we need any for a cross-section.
Excerpts from Letter to the Editor, Warrensburg Daily Star Journal, 2/18/97, by Gene Atkinson, a Planning Commission member.
"One of the more rational concerns is that p&z will take away one's rights to do whatever they want with their own property. This is not true."
Analysis: Unless, of course, one wants to do automotive repair or have a dentist's office in one's home, even if one lives on 800 acres, or do anything else not expressly permitted in Appendix A of the plan.
- "The plan only effects [sic] the smaller developments outside of city limits."
Analysis: Smaller developments include people who live on 5 to 20 acres, anyone who wants to build a house on any size land and needs a septic system, anyone who wants to build a couple of houses on the place for his kids, etc.
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