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Barber Cites Options For County Plan

Supervisors continued work on the proposed long-range comprehensive plan for the county at last week’s supervisor meeting. Planner Bob Barber (standing) outlined potential options that can include zoning and building codes.

By David Howell


COFFEEVILLE – Building codes, zoning, land use regulations – how far to go is the next step for supervisors as work continues on developing a long-range comprehensive plan to guide future growth in the county. 

Supervisors heard an update from Bob Barber on the plan, Stewardship Yalobusha, during the “first Monday” meeting held Nov. 6 at the Coffeeville courthouse. Barber works as a planner for Orion Planning Design, the company hired back in March to implement the plan that would not only guide future growth but also preserve the quality of life citizens in the county enjoy.

In September county officials scheduled a series of public meetings across the county to allow Barber to get input from the public, information that will soon be finalized and presented to supervisors. 

At last week’s meeting, Barber outlined four implementation options to supervisors, starting with basic land development standards with minimum restrictions that could include minimum lot sizes based on the sewage system, property set backs, road requirements to ensure adequate access to public roads for schools buses and emergency vehicles and standards for manufactured home parks. 

Barber next cited enhanced land development standards, which would include the standards above plus regulations for “nuisance uses” defined as salvage yards, gravel mines, race tracks, night clubs and similar operations. 

The third standard, land use controls, could include the regulations in both of the earlier standards plus “land use or zoning districts.” The land use standards could include specific areas in the county zoned for residential area, agriculture, commercial use and industrial activity. 

A fourth option, which could be implemented with or without the earlier standards, is the adoption of standard building codes in the county.  Barber cited a specific advantage of implementing building codes, decreasing the fire rating in rural areas of the county, which can substantially reduce the insurance premium for homeowners. 

“This will be a board decision at some point,” Barber said about the different options.  “There is an option to do nothing. But based on what we see, at a minimum we would be dealing with set backs, lot sizes, gravel pits, the basic stuff,” Barber explained last week.

Supervisors are expected to revisit the topic in December and will likely provide general input for Barber on how to proceed. 

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