The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

November 5, 2012

Your View: No authority

By Beverly Prentice
Special to The Globe

POWELL, Mo. — I am a member of the McDonald County Planning Commission and would like to try to clear up some of the misunderstandings and falsehoods that are being circulated about the McDonald County Planning Commission.

 First and foremost, the Planning Commission has “no” authority. Everything we research or write is at the request of the McDonald County commissioners. They edit everything we write, revise it, file it for future reference or pitch it. We are not allowed to do anything without their approval or direction.

The Planning Commission is regulated by Missouri state statues, telling the county commissioners and the MCPC what we can and can’t do. We have absolutely nothing to do with zoning. We only work for the unincorporated areas. The only way zoning can take place is by a vote of the people.

The county commissioners asked the Planning Commission to develop a uniform set of subdivision regulations for the unincorporated land for the basis of safety, such as width of streets for firetrucks and school buses to turn in; proper placement of utilities, open spaces, recreation and avoidance of congestion of population; and to the extent where water and sewer will be provided. These regulations took three years to develop, all volunteer work by the Planning Commission. The commissioners edited and changed some of it and then held two public hearings, which went very well.

Then, unfortunately, many residents were whipped into a frenzy with talk of zoning and the power of authority of the Planning Commission and statement after statement was made that was not true, such as getting permission from the MCPC where you can build your fence, etc. Remember, there is no zoning. The MCPC has no authority to take away your rights or control your land. If it did, I wouldn’t be a member. Please check out the Missouri revised statutes online to find out the real facts and make up your own mind. Keep our McDonald County moving forward, not backward.

Beverly Prentice