The Missouri County Planning Act of 2009

The Missouri Chapter of APA is engaged in an educational effort to provide information about state planning laws and the need for reform.  In January the APA along with the Missouri Association of Councils of Government sponsored workshops on the importance of planning for communities around the state.

Currently county planning in Missouri is based on ordinances from the 1920. As a result, counties now use different sets of confusing and conflicting rules based on outdated county classifications, which are expensive to administer and confusing for everybody. The general consensus among the APA membership is that counties should decide local land-use issues and that counties need clear and flexible statutes to enable effective planning.

House Bill 379 is similar to one that passed in the Missouri House in 2008, but died in the last day of the session in the Missouri Senate. It provides tools for citizens to plan the communities they want, and while offering no state mandate, it enables counties to plan based on their unique circumstances, maintains local control of land-use decisions and requires that any specific regulations must be adopted by elected county commissioners. Moreover, the proposed legislation retains the requirement that a citizen vote is required before a county may adopt zoning regulations, and it maintains existing agricultural exemptions from zoning regulations.

The State Chapter recommends that planners throughout the State of Missouri notify your state representatives and senators of your interest in the updating and reform of planning so that all communities can benefit.