Johnson County Missouri
Planning & Zoning
Planning & Zoning - the Real Facts
Paid for by Bill Wayne, 431 SE County Road Y, Warrensburg, MO 64093
Question 1: Will P&Z keep out "Mega Farms"
- Answer: Depends on what you mean by "Mega" - for the biggest confinement operations, state law already sets minimum distances from occupied homes; this merely increases the distance. However, neither state law nor this plan require any minimum distance for operations with 95,000 chickens, 50,00 turkeys, 2400 hogs, etc. - they can be located on a 20 acre plot right next to you and you can't do anything about it.
Question 2: Will P&Z keep out "juice bars" or other adult entertainment.
Answer: Just new ones. Any that exist now or are under construction are not affected.
Question 3: Will P&Z make my neighbors dispose of their sewage properly?
Answer: Only if it's new construction or modification. And they don't need "comprehensive zoning" to accomplish this - the county can pass a sewage ordinance without zoning. Sewage plants & landfills are state-regulated and the county can't really do anything about them.
Question 4: Will P&Z keep my neighbors from putting in a mobile home?
Answer: No - it'll make them have proper sewage (see above) and install a permanent foundation unless they're in a mobile home park.
Question 5: Will P&Z make my neighbors clean up their "junky" property?
Answer: No. That would take a specific "nuisance" ordinance which the planning group didn't want to touch. One could be written later after the plan is approved, without any public vote .
Question 6: Will P&Z solve any existing problems, then?
Answer: No. Our existing problems are 'grandfathered' in for perpetuity.
Question 7: Can I sell off a couple of acres along the road to someone to build a house?
Answer: You "shall" contact the zoning administrator before the "sale, transfer, subdivision or lot split any property" and probably have to get it rezoned to Rural Residential if 3-20 acres or R-1 residential if less.
Question 7A: Are there any restrictions on lot size or shape?
Answer: Yes - the lot depth can be no more than twice the frontage for small acreages (3-20). This pretty much controls how much you can sell off in small acreages.
Question 8: If I want to open a small business on my property, am I affected?
Answer: Probably. Unless you fit into the limited number of authorized "home occupations", you'll have to get a Conditional Use Permit or a zoning change in most cases.
Question 8A: What if I already have a business?
Answer: You're supposedly OK. You'll need to look at the maps in the courthouse to see if you're on it. If not (which is highly likely), you'll have to follow some procedures for letting the zoning commission know you exist. If you can prove you existed prior to the election and only want a continuing use, you're probably OK; if you want to be zoned commercial or industrial, the situation is more confusing, especially if you ask for more than just the immediate surroundings of an existing building.
Question 9: How do I get a conditional use permit?
Answer: You'll have to follow very detailed procedures, which includes submitting a sketch plan (see Article 6 of the zoning ordinance). Then, it's approved or disapproved by the zoning administrator and/or the P&Z Commission and the County Commission (the last addendum confuses thing all over again).
Question 10: OK, then, how do I get rezoned?
Answer: You humbly ask permission by submitting an application form, along with a map, description of what you want to do with the property and various other details. Then, there has to be a public hearing (they don't even have to hold the hearing for 60 days), get the P&Z commission to approve the change (by a 2/3 majority), and get the County Commission to approve it (they didn't put any time limits on this part). Your neighbors have the right to object. So does the nearest city, if you're within 1.5 miles of the city limits!
Question 11: What are some of the other limits on my property use?
Answer: Lots! You can only have 4 garage sales a year. You can't build a 2-story garage. The height of your privacy fence is regulated, as is where you can put a storage shed. The maps are incomplete and the temporary commission has major disagreements over the degree of control to be instituted.
Question 12: Who's responsible for carrying out the zoning laws.
Answer: Initially, the same appointed P&Z Commission that has had such difficulty in determining what economic activities are going to be allowed in what areas. Ultimately, the same County Commission, 2 members of which just voted to raise their pay by 1/3, who snuck in a rural speed limit without telling the public that it was on their agenda, and that allowed the public hearing on P&Z to be conducted without adequate publicity. And, it'll all be enforced by an appointed administrator, who has the right to inspect your property for violations, backed by the power to fine and imprison violators.
Question 13: Who's promoting this zoning plan?
Answer: A private committee (their primary advocates live within Warrensburg city limits), which attempted to influence the County Commission to place the issue on the April ballot, despite the lack of legal notice and the many, many flaws in the plan that have resulted in massive rewrites since then.
Question 14: Are the P&Z documents (comprehensive plan & zoning ordinance) in good shape?
Answer: Hardly! The consultant company prepared a plan that bore little relation to the needs of Johnson County, Missouri. Things they told us at the Township Meetings in February were completely contradicted later. The temporary P&Z Commission spent hours wrangling about which activities would be allowed in which zone, changing them and then changing them back. The exact authority chain for approving your Conditional Use Permit are still unclear. The comprehensive plan has no plan for future growth as called for by the law establishing the procedure. It is unclear whether or not the plan must be applied to incorporated towns without zoning, such as Chilhowee, Centerview, and Leeton. The maps, which are part of the plan, are incomplete and inaccurate, omitting businesses, trailer parks, and even the Carlyle Van Lines complex! And, there's nothing anywhere about who's going to pay for this bureaucracy!
Question 15: I live in Warrensburg or Holden. How does this plan affect me?
Answer: It doesn't. So, don't vote in favor of it unless you believe that city people should set the rules for all who live in the county. Besides, P&Z is an unneeded grant of power to government to control our lives.
County-Wide P&Z was turned down before because people were rightly afraid of granting government such wide powers without any idea what was to be done to them. We should rightly fear what Government says they want to do to us in this plan.
Please Vote NO on P&Z this November 4th!
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