To The Editor:
Master plans are a guide for growth and development. It is the foundation for good land use planning and land use regulations.
The plan should contain sufficient detail for the various recommendations, reflect the wishes of the community and should be implemented.
In The Missourian, “Eagan said that the purpose of the meeting is not zoning, but to talk about the master plan, including future land uses for the county. She also said approval of the plan would not change the zoning of the power plant. It simply would rename the type of future land use to industrial.”
I question the understanding of the links between the Master Plan and zoning ordinances.
Zoning is the tool to implement master plan recommendations thus the question of the land use designation and zoning is relevant. Land use change is the first step to zoning change. The link between planning and zoning is critical.
Zoning controls are based on sound planning principles in the approved plan. Although the recommendations in master plans shape communities, these recommendations can be implemented only through the zoning process.
Zoning ordinances provide a process for adoption of a comprehensive plan and they become law. Ordinances evolve and change. The changes can be minor or major, such as creating a new zone, adding new exceptions and exemptions to the regulations, or removing them.
So what is Franklin County’s plan for the new land use designation from agricultural to industrial at the Ameren site in the Missouri Bottoms?
This change in land use could lead to zoning changes. If this designation passes will the county now do “Spot Zoning”? (Spot zoning refers to the rezoning of a parcel of land to a use category different from the surrounding area, usually to benefit a single owner or a single development interest and does not serve the general welfare of the community.)
Land use change can result in zoning changes which could result in ordinances written for industrial uses. One of the reasons for changing one land use designation to a different land use designation is to reflect the current use.
And what does that really mean in this situation? I don’t know.
Even though we were told that the meeting was about the Master Plan and not zoning, this change gets to the heart and depth of the problem: There is a direct connection between master planning and zoning and the future growth and direction of Franklin County.
So, do we really want an Industrial land use designation in the Missouri Bottoms?