De Soto City Council decides not to create rural zoning mimicking county RUR
De Soto City Council members agreed last Thursday they didn’t want to encourage agricultural uses in the city with the creation of a new zoning district that mimicked the county rural zoning.
The consensus came at the end of a joint meeting between the city council and three members of the De Soto Planning Commission, Kevin Honomichl, Roger Templin and Rick Walker.
While making that decision, the council sought to assure effected property owners nothing would infringe on their current uses of their properties and or agricultural uses.
For the past two months, the city has been reconsidering how to deal with the properties that became part of the city in the large 1999 annexation. As a stipulation of that annexation, the properties were brought into the city with the county’s rural zoning, or RUR, and are rezoned when there was an application for a building permit.
However, the rezoning on building permit standard was only a policy and not written into the city’s regulations.
Another basic problem with the arrangement is that it left the city no means of enforcing zoning violations because the county RUR zoning required disputes be resolved through various county procedures — some of which no longer exists —City Attorney Patrick Reavy said.
Those two shortcomings necessitated the city develop a way to get the properties into city zoning, but it still left the question of how that should be done. Planning Commissioner Roger Templin said he and fellow planning commissioners wanted council direction on the question because the answer involved a policy decision on the part of the council.
In particular, he asked the council if it wanted to create a zoning classification that would duplicate the county’s RUR zoning. That could encourage agricultural uses in De Soto and exacerbate the city’s problem of maintaining rural roads without the residential tax base to support the expense.
On the other hand, creation of such a zoning could make future annexations more popular because with property owners, he said.
Still, planning commissioners and council members agreed duplicating the RUR wasn’t a good idea in part because the city couldn’t limit the new zoning classification to one area, such as De Soto near or east of Cedar Creek that the city future land use maps show maintaining its rural character because there is no intention of extending sewers to the area.
It was agreed the properties will instead be assigned an appropriate residential zoning, most of which will be the city’s least restrictive RO.
In addition, the council agreed to allow properties to be rezoned to that zoning assigned to them on future land use maps. Although those rezonings will be discussed on case-by-case basis, they would be addressed as a single revision by the planning commission that would include a public hearing, city engineer Mike Brungardt said.
John Anderson III expressed concerned that changing his property to RO would infringe on the rights to continue agricultural uses. He were assured as long as an agricultural use was maintained on the lands, that and other agricultural uses would be allowed.