An updated Franklin County master plan is likely to be adopted before the end of the year.
That is according to county officials who say they are ready to begin a final review of the document following a public hearing held earlier this week.
The latest public hearing comes after about three years of brainstorming, planning, meetings and previous public hearings on the master plan.
In August, the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to send the document to the commission for final approval.
“I anticipate some minor changes and some other tweaks, but it looks like we will be able to vote on it in the next couple of weeks,” Franklin County Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer said Friday. He added later that it could take more than a few weeks but that it would likely be approved before the end of the year.
Only two of the handful of residents who attended Tuesday’s public hearing commented on the plan.
Derek Schriewer, representing the Franklin County Board of Realtors, told the commissioners that the board does have recommendations for changes to the plan but that he was not authorized to speak on their behalf at the time.
Eric Reichert, Villa Ridge, challenged the commission on the master plan adoption process and said he may sue the county over it according to county officials who attended the meeting.
“I was shocked there wasn’t more people at the hearing considering the large turnout at earlier meetings,” Griesheimer added.
County Counselor Mark Vincent said the commission would review the master plan at least one more time in a working session prior to placing it on a meeting agenda for a final vote. He said the public may attend the working session.
The plan centers on eight specific areas with goals, objectives and strategies for each. The areas of focus are land use, agriculture, housing and neighborhoods, transportation, stormwater and water resources, utilities, solid waste and economic development.
If approved by the county commissioners, the document would replace the current one.
The most significant alteration centers on changing the land use of the Ameren Missouri power plant on the land use map that accompanies the plan from “industrial” to “utility.”
Currently, the 1,100-acre Ameren land along the Missouri River is zoned agricultural with a nonconforming use for the power plant. The master plan and land-use map do not deal with zoning, however.
The plan has been in the works since 2009, when county officials conducted open house forums at five locations around the county to seek input for the plan. Included in that process was a survey of county residents.
The request for a new master plan came from the county’s planning office.
St. Clair Missourian Editor Keith Domke contributed to this story.