Jackson County subcommittee reviews citizen survey response
The Jackson County Zoning Exploration Subcommittee met Sept. 20 to review the citizen survey response.
Here are the meeting's minutes, as provided by the county:
ZONING EXPLORATION SUBCOMMITTEE
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2016 4:30 PM
JACKSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE
Call to Order (4:35 PM)
Members Present: Chapman, Erbes and Peterson
Also Present: Cary Minnis, Grace Taylor, Bill Taylor, Burleigh Hawk
Approval of Minutes
I. 16-0718 September 7, 2016 Minutes
Ms. Peterson pointed out that one word in the second half of the section on Mr. Kern's presentation should be changed from "counties" to "townships". The Committee Coordinator will make the change before finalizing the minutes.
A motion was made by Peterson, seconded by Chapman, to approve the September 7, 2016 Minutes with one correction. The motion carried by unanimous vote.
II. 16-0719 Review of Citizen Survey Responses
The subcommittee reviewed the updated spreadsheet. There are sixteen new responses, among them is a response from Grace Taylor who with her husband is in attendance. Mr. Taylor commented that he previously lived in Quincy, IL which has zoning. They havedeveloped their property on Old Route 13. They are concerned about their neighbors who have moved old trailers onto the property to start a resale business. This brings up concerns about traffic as well as the aesthetics of the property. The Taylor's hope that people realize that this could happen to their neighborhood. Peterson commented that she agrees and this is what she is trying to express to the board. Mr. Hawk questioned why Jackson County would need zoning. He indicated that he does not need anyone telling him what to do with his property. Chapman explained that the subcommittee is currently exploring that question. The subcommittee is trying to educate themselves, the rest of the board and citizens about what zoning entails. He continued by saying that zoning can be as strict or lenient as the citizens and board would like it to be. Mr. Hawk questioned how zoning will make property taxes go up. Chapman stated that as far as the research shows zoning does not increase property taxes but it seems to be there to protect the air that we breathe, the water in the area and homeowners from losing property value. Discussion continued about how property values are affected by surrounding properties. Chapman commented that if zoning is considered there will be coordination with all the departments. The Taylor's repeated their concern that there will be a major accident because of the increased traffic trying to get out onto Old Route 13. Chapman pointed out that even if zoning was implemented tomorrow anything that is already in existence will be grandfathered in.
III. 16-0720 Presentation by Cary Minnis-Greater Egypt
Mr. Minnis spoke with the committee about what SIMPO and Greater Egypt Regional Planning and Development Commission (Greater Egypt) do for Jackson County and some of the transportation and economic development planning in the area. He began by speaking about the Southern Illinois Metropolitan Planning Organization (SIMPO). SIMPO was created in 2012 to comply with regulations for transportation funding for urban areas. SIMPO has done about ten transportation studies so far and have three currently in progress. It is made up of leadership from county boards and various municipalities in the area. Peterson commented that the federal highway administration representative gave SIMPO a "pat on the back" saying they are the newest MPO and doing a great job. Minnis continued by saying that Greater Egypt does on going economic development planning and their latest plan was adopted by Jackson County and the other four counties they represent in 2015. This plan is important partly because projects submitted to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) have to be consistent with the plan, the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy(CEDS). This CEDS document is updated annually and is intentionally broad when it comes to the MPO but is specific enough to allow for targeting of certain areas. It does not include zoning. He went on to state that "a Comprehensive Plan is a statement of policy and intent about the future growth and development of the community. It's a plan primarily for the physical development of the community and is concerned with land use, transportation, public facilities, infrastructure, natural environmental resources, housing, social economic issues, economic development and the fiscal aspects of community growth and change." In 1964 Greater Egypt completed a Comprehensive Plan for the four county area, that included Jackson County. Minnis stated that a Comprehensive Plan might be a good next step for the county. There are benefits to having one with or without zoning. It allows the county to have a strategy of where it wants to go in the future and can tie together things that are being worked on. Mr. Minnis pointed out that a Comprehensive plan is a guide and zoning is a tool to achieve the goals. Chapman asked about possible data sets that Greater Egypt can share to help see where there is growth and areas of focus. He also asked how Jackson Growth Alliance fits into working on a Comprehensive plan, are they a group that could write the comprehensive plan or a group at the table during discussions. Mr. Minnis said that Greater Egypt does have county specific data that they can share. Chapman requested that that information be sent to the committee. Minnis stated in response to a question that of Greater Egypt's five county area Perry County is the only county with zoning. Discussion took place with the subcommittee and guests about the future of the economy of the county when it can not rely on the university and land in the county that is not taxable. Also, Mr. Hawk asked about a study on the bike paths in the area. Minnis informed everyone that Greater Egypt is looking into a bike path from Murphysboro to Carbondale and also if there is a concern about safety on a state road that IDOT should be contacted. Chapman thanked Minnis for coming and for providing information to the subcommittee. He also asked that when the county begins working on their comprehensive plan that Greater Egypt work with the county to ensure that the plan fits with the CEDS. Minnis assured the subcommittee that they would and he suggested to everyone that they can go the Greater Egypt website to get more information.
Adjourn (5:35 PM)
Peterson moved and Erbes seconded to adjourn, motion carried.