Lincoln getting closer to countywide zoning

January 14, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Countywide planning and zoning is progressing steadily toward becoming a reality as Fiscal Court magistrates wrap up months of careful examination of the proposed ordinances and set Jan. 27 for a first reading.

Judge-executive Ronald "Buckwheat" Gilbert says the community has nothing to fear, despite widespread angst.

"I guarantee you we've had 50 calls asking when this is coming into effect," said Gilbert. "This is very moderate planning and zoning. There's nothing too stiff on it ... it's not over the top."

Some citizens are worried the new laws will dictate how they use their property, and worry it will limit personal freedoms, said Gilbert.

"They think it is telling them what to do on their own property, and they are against it until their neighbor starts doing what they want," said Gilbert.


Gilbert offered up several problematic questions that planning and zoning laws could answer, including the required level of general property maintenance and sewer requirements.

Magistrate Terry Wilcher said he and the other magistrates "went over it thoroughly in about 20 hours," to ensure that the proposed laws were acceptable. After the long hours of study, Wilcher said he thought the community should get the final say in the fate of proposed county planning and zoning.

"I think it should go on a ballot, and the people should get to vote for it," said Wilcher. He added that, after the court's three years of pushing for some type of planning and zoning laws, citizens were still making it "real hard (to pass), cause they don't understand it."

Citizens of Hustonville have rallied during city hall meetings for several months asking about planning and zoning, a few speaking in its favor. Equally as determined have been those citizens against planning and zoning, who have set a meeting for 7 p.m. Monday at T&J Variety store to rally in opposition of the proposed ordinances.

Members of the Farm Bureau have also approached planning and zoning with questions and concerns. They will be holding a meeting with a county representative at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 in the Lincoln County High School gym to better understand the impact of proposal.

The ordinances' first reading has been slated for a special Fiscal Court meeting at 5 p.m. Jan. 27 in the Old K.U. building.

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