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County P and Z extends public hearing on Land Use Plan

JOHNSON COUNTY– The discussion continues surrounding the growth and development plan for rural Johnson County.
Proposed changes to the North Corridor portion of the Johnson County Land Use Plan could impact rural property owners if they wish to develop land in the future.
In January, Planning & Zoning (P&Z) department officials recommended to the Johnson County P&Z Commission an amendment that reduces the current Land Use Plan from 19,333 total acres designated as potential residential growth areas to just 1,523 acres. Much of the impacted area includes land between Highway 1 and Sugar Bottom and Newport roads, and land near the city of Swisher.
Several landowners expressed concerns to the Johnson County P&Z Commission at recent meetings. Some have signed a petition opposing the revisions, saying the Land Use Plan creates a “discriminatory” and “arbitrary” method by which the Johnson County Board of Supervisors would approve or disapprove of future rezoning applications.
According to a document prepared by the P&Z department, even though the total growth area is reduced to resemble the mass zoning areas of the 1960s, there is still enough acreage included in the proposal– as indicated by building trends of the last decade– to support growth in the North Corridor area for more than 70 years.
Property owner Jim Shymansky of Quincy Road does not accept those numbers, or the concept.
“I personally am not going to subdivide my small acreage in the near future, but I don’t want the supervisors telling me that I can’t do so for 76 years when acreage owners just around the corner or down the road from me are given options that I don’t now have,” Shymansky wrote in an introduction to the petition.
Due to the nature of property owner’s comments heard at their January and February meetings, the P&Z Commission agreed to extend public hearing on the matter to their March 9 meeting. P&Z Department Administrator Rick Dvorak said it will be up to P&Z Chair Robert Saunders to determine the length of public comment allowed, and added Saunders will likely ask that remarks address new information on the issue.
The P&Z Commission will meet Monday, March 9, at 5:30 p.m. at the Johnson County Administration Building.