Zoning Position Paper presented to the Johnson County Climb group, 9/25/97
I'm here to talk about the proposed county-wide planning & zoning because I oppose the issue. I oppose it on a number of levels:

Let's look at some of the things that advocates of zoning promise, whether problems or threats, and see how they're handled:

Now, let's look at some of the minutiae. Some of you have seen the flyer someone put out implying that the plan banned horses in Rural Residential areas (3-20 acres) or the back yard of your 2.99 acre place along the road. I'm not sure that it might not be correct, because the various rules are so scattered throughout the plan that it isn't unreasonable to interpret that you'd have to get a Conditional Use Permit to have a horse or a cow. Here's a few others:

In addition, there are many anomalies and curious twists in the list of what types of business requires a Conditional Use Permit, which requires a "sketch plan" and supporting documentation. On top of this, the exact chain of approval for such CUPs is muddy at best - I can't tell for sure what the Administrator will approve, what the P&Z Commission will approve, and what the County Commission will approve ["They are permitted upon a finding by the P&Z Administrator and/or approval by & with the authorization of the P&Z Commission, and the County Commission that the conditions for approval are met"]. Here are a few that require CUPs:

These are just examples - we could pick on them for more time than is now allowed. The big problem is that it is so cumbersome that it is extremely difficult to determine all the ramifications.

Funding for Planning & Zoning is a major question that hasn't been answered. The costs will include a Zoning Administrator, mileage & direct costs for 15 zoning commissioners, administrative costs for maintaining records, conducting hearings, etc., not to mention legal fees as different vague areas are challenged in court. The county has already spent well over $40,000 on the planning stage, most to pay HNTB Corporation, the consultants who, in my opinion, treated us rather shabbily - and I still think the term "foisted" is accurate. Either the budget will require a reallocation of current tax money or we will have to pay a fee.
Currently, the only fee required seems to be in an application for a Special Use Permit (mega-farm, juice bar, communications tower, casino, heavy metal industry, or clearing more than 20 acres for commercial/industrial development). However, if this is still a 4th Class County, the County Commission is authorized (64.810) to establish & collect a fee for service provided. The P&Z Commission can spend "not in excess of the smount of fees colledted by it & the amounts appropriatd for that purpose"

Safeguards are inadequate because the final authority for all zoning changes and amendments to the rules lies in the County Commission. While the Ordinance requires a public hearing and 10 YES votes by the Planning Commission to submit a change to the County Commission, I don't know if this can be changed by these bodies at a later date - certainly, the advocates of P&Z who wanted a public hearing for every Conditional Use Permit want to make things even more restrictive!

Intrusive Government, even at the local level, is not tolerable to a free society. This plan goes into much greater depth than is necessary to protect the health and welfare of the citizens. By State Law, once this is adopted, "no building or other structure shall be erected, constructed, reconstructed, enlarged or altered, or repaired in such a manner as to prolong the life of the building, nor shall the use of any land be changed without a permit issued by" the P&Z Administrator. It gives implied authority to the administrator to enter & inspect your property without notice, it gives the local government the power to fine and imprison you for violations, regardless of their nature. The wording of the satte law syas that if someone runs an illegal business out of a rural apartment, the owner & his agents are also guilty. These provisions could be used by unscrupulous politicians to punish their enemies and to reward their friends.

This process also allows the citizens of the cities to vote on a zoning plan that does not affect them - looking at County demographics, strong support for zoning from the 3 cities with P&Z could overcome a near-unanimous vote by those actually affected. You tell me if this is proper!

We have already seen the operation of the consultants, who told us conflicting stories at various stages of the planning process. The promoters of zoning that I've heard speak are almost exclusively residents of the incorporated & zoned cities of this county. I say that this plan, whatever the intentions of its advocates, is an evil in itself.

| [Old Drum Net Home] [Zoning Page] [Intent and Actuality] [Some Major Provisions] [Analysis] [Supporter Comments]
This website compliments of
Cedarcroft Enterprises
including Cedarcroft Farm Bed & Breakfast
431 Southeast County Road Y, Warrensburg, Missouri, 64093
(660)747-5728 \ liberty@olddrum.net