Garrard County needs planning and zoning

May 13, 2004

Dear Editor:

Of course Garrard County needs planning and zoning. We only need to look around to see that.

I know Magistrate Joe Leavell and others are taking a tremendous amount of heat for their view that our county will benefit from planning and zoning, but hang in there. Taking a stand for what is right is not easy, but I respect you all the more for being willing to do just that.

Don't let them fool you. Not everyone in our county is against planning and zoning. Many of us realize that it is an essential part of progress, essential to ensure the rights of landowners and essential to ensure a bright future for our residents. It is my belief that many of those who oppose planning and zoning don't understand the potential that it holds for shaping our county and maintaining its current charm.

We must face the fact that the county is growing at an amazing rate, and with proper planning, that growth can be a major asset to our county. It will bring in much-needed revenue to our tax coffers and along with that, fresh voices and ideas. Without planning, the growth will come anyway, and the county government will have to sort out the mess without the benefit of guidance.


Those opposing planing and zoning have made it clear, they don't want to be told what to do with their property, and they don't want to pay for permits etc. to fund the program. That is understandable. However, landowners must realize that if they don't have any guidelines to follow regarding land use, their neighbors don't either. Instead of protecting the value of their property, they are allowing it to be put in jeopardy simply by not having a legitimate legal leg to stand on. Without planning and zoning, anything goes, for you and for your neighbor and potential neighbor.

We've already seen some of the problems lack of planning in our county brings about, such as the out-of-state landfill companies wanting to come to our county to dump their trash. We can fight these types of things on an individual basis or we can prevent that from happening in the first place, with proper planning.

The best way to ensure that planning and zoning is beneficial to landowners is for those landowners to be involved in the process. Volunteer for committees, attend meetings, voice opinions and learn as much as possible about the process so that you can make a valuable contribution to protecting our county and the land that we love.

Again, Mr. Leavell, don't give in to the pressure, our future depends on people like you who are willing to stand up for what is right, even if it seems unpopular.

Thanks for being a true community servant.

Jennifer Lynne Johnson


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