P&Z Commission Petition in Callaway County

1 decade 2 months 3 weeks ago November 29, 2006 Nov 29, 2006 Wednesday, November 29 2006 Wednesday, November 29, 2006 5:29:27 PM CST in News
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Shock and fear of junkyards are the motivators for the members of the planning and zoning committee in Callaway county.

"Nobody wants something negative in their own backyard. And, to have that, you're gonna lose some of your freedoms, but I certainly think the trade-off would be worth it," Young explained.

"Opponents, their big response is ... 'I don't want people telling me what to do with my property, I don't want to lose control of my house'. But without planning and zoning, your neighbors really tell you what you can do with your house because they can sabotage you or they can work with you," said Marty Wilson, Holts Summit Realtor.

The committee is in the process of gathering signatures and drawing attention to areas like this to show county commissioners there's an interest in their proposal.

"A petition is a good gauge to see if there's enough support to warrant to put it on the ballot," said Lee Fritz, Callaway County Presiding Commissioner.

Three thousand signatures is the goal, but even if the committee gets them all, it is still up to the commissioners whether or not it goes on the ballot. Much of their decision will be based on money.

"How are you gonna pay for it? This county's in kind of a financial hurt anyway ... we'd have to have something on the ballot with it to pay for it because we're starting from scratch," said Gabe Craighead, Callaway county commissioner.

"Its not money, but the way the law is written in the state that the committee thinks is their biggest hurdle. it says it must go on the ballot with a yes or no vote. You cannot make the plan ahead of time; you cannot set the committee ahead of time. It has to be a yes or no vote. So, people don't want to vote on something when they don't know what they're going to get," said Nancy Wright, planning and zoning committee.

The yes/no issue is pegged as one of the reasons the initiative failed over ten years ago with almost 3/4 of the votes as 'no.'

"The last issue was on the ballot in 1995. Lots have changed. Callaway county is growing, and that's a good thing. But, there is probably a need to revisit that and determine if there's a need for P&Z," said Doc Kirtzer, Callaway county commissioner.

Growth in Holts Summit is a big issue, and residents don't want that to be stifled by junkyards.

"Many businesses and industries don't want to come where they don't have some protection," said Pam Murray. "As you look around the county, you see evidence of growth. So, as our county grows, why not have a plan to guide that growth."

The committee feels that guide could come with planning and zoning.  As of Monday night the committee has 527 signatures in favor of putting planning and zoning on the ballot. The deadline to get all 3,000 is January first.

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