Cole County gathering input on zoning plan

Public meetings could occur by end of year

Public meetings could be held as early as the end of the year to discuss a zoning plan for Cole County.

At Thursday’s County Commission meeting, members of the zoning oversight committee said they are still getting comments from members of the Home Builders Association of Central Missouri and want to incorporate their ideas, as well as those from organizations such as the Jefferson City Board of Realtors, into the public presentation.

Commissioners urged the committee to get those comments in as soon as possible as they were eager to hear the public’s thoughts.

Contiguous development and separate residential areas from commercial/industrial areas are goals the group is trying to achieve with these regulations. They also want to preserve the agricultural heritage of the county and incorporate flexibility, giving the county the ability to respond to a variety of situations and changing markets.

They also want to follow earlier public recommendations that salvage yards, manufactured home parks, adult businesses and quarries are adequately regulated.

A rough draft zoning map, based on the 2010 Cole County Master Plan and resident comments, has been put together.

The majority of the county is zoned agriculture, but areas along the borders of Jefferson City and other incorporated communities in the county have zoning which would allow for development.

A goal of the zoning codes would be to promote economic development and protect property rights.

“We realize there will be some who don’t want any regulations at all, but it’ll be up to the voters to decide whether this happens or not,” said Cole County Public Works Director Larry Benz.

The commission still believes it would be sometime next year, possibly late summer or early fall, before a vote on zoning could take place.

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