Agricultural land used for wheat, soybeans and corn someday may be ripe for homes, buildings or other developments or public services, and that's why a team of regulatory experts is working to help rural property owners understand the rules that govern and guide land use.
The officials, from government departments and agencies, have scheduled two public meetings this month to explain matters and answer questions.
"Understanding the zoning and codes pertaining to rural property may be a challenge at times," said Bill Wood, agriculture agent for K-State Research and Extension in Douglas County. "Knowing the regulations can help property owners do a better job of managing their land and making plans for the future."
The first meeting is set for 7 tonight at Vinland School, and another is scheduled for 7 p.m. March 13 at Stull United Methodist Church.
The meetings - sponsored by the extension service, Douglas County Farm Bureau and various governmental departments - will follow the same agenda and feature the same presenters; organizers hope that offering two sessions will increase the chances of people attending one.
Scheduled to be present at the meetings to answer questions about zoning rules and development codes:
¢ Richard Ziesenis, director of environmental health for the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department, which deals with septic systems.
¢ Keith Dabney, the county's director of zoning and codes, which reviews and administers land-use changes.
¢ Marion Johnson, county appraiser, who oversees property valuations.
¢ Keith Browning, the county's director of public works, which handles road and bridge projects.
¢ Joseph Rexwinkle, a planner with the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Office, the office that reviews development proposals.
¢ Linda Finger, former city-county planning director.
¢ Bruce Smith, manager of Douglas County Rural Water District No. 3, which provides water service.
"These meetings are designed to help property owners find out what the present regulations are," Wood said.