Archive for Thursday, March 19, 2009

Planning Commission to wrap-up large rural rezoning initiative

March 19, 2009

The De Soto Planning Commission will attempt Tuesday to wrap up a seven-month process to find new zonings for the properties annexed into the city in 1999.

As a stipulation to the large annexation the Johnson County Commission approved in 1999, the county’s RUR zoning was maintained on the properties brought into De Soto. It has been a city policy since to require a rezoning to the appropriate city zoning when a property owner with such a zoning makes application to remodel or add a structure.

But late last summer, the De Soto Planning Commission questioned that policy and De Soto City Council subsequently decided it did not want a rural zoning classification in the city.

“There is no rural zoning,” city planner Linda Bohnsack said. “Everything is either residential or business.”

So for the past seven months, city staff has been working with property owners to establish appropriate zonings for the properties. To do so, it looked at the city’s comprehensive plan, land-use maps, size of property and strongly considered property owners’ requests, Bohnsack said.

That process involved four different workshops in which residents were invited to participate.

“Fifty percent of the property owners contacted us through the mail or at workshops,” Bohnsack said. “There’s been ample opportunity to become informed.”

Property owners still had an opportunity before and at the meeting to take advantage of what former Planning Commissioner Chairman Kevin Honomichl called a one-time chance to rezone their properties as they want, Bohnsack said.

At the meeting that is to start at 7 p.m. Tuesday, planning commissioners will review the staff’s final suggestions, listen to any property owners attending and make a recommendation to the city council.

However, Bohnsack said planning commissioners might want more time before making a recommendation, especially if there are a large number of residents at the meeting.

“It’s a big issue,” she said. “They may decide to table it for a month.”

Should planning commissioners make a recommendation Tuesday, it would be on the April 16 city council agenda.

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