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Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2002

County to discuss 5-acre exemption

February 12, 2002

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Douglas County commissioners will have a joint meeting with planning commissioners Wednesday to re-open the debate about the future of the 5-acre exemption.

Commissioners will discuss the land-use issue with the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission at the county's 6:30 p.m. meeting at the Courthouse, 1100 Mass.

County commissioners said they don't expect any decisions Wednesday about the future of the exemption, which basically allows property owners with 5 or more acres to build a single-family home on their property without going through the rezoning or platting process.

"All I hope will come out of it is some identification of the issues and concerns," County Commissioner Bob Johnson said. "Hopefully, we'll learn why some people want the 5-acre exemption and why some people don't."

County commissioners agreed to have the discussion after several planning commissioners last month said they have continued concerns about the 5-acre exemption and the difficulties it creates in planning growth.

Members of the county's planning staff for years have urged commissioners to eliminate the exemption because the unplanned development can create extra costs for cities when they grow into areas where the exemption has been used.

Many rural property owners, however, have fought previous attempts to change the exemption, saying more regulation in the rural areas is unnecessary.

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