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Harris: Comprehensive plan ‘effectively killed’

Jason Ferguson
Published: Thursday, February 21st, 2013

City of Custer community development director Rex Harris said the city’s 30 year comprehensive plan, which the city’s planning committee had been working on crafting for the past three years was “effectively killed” at the Feb. 11 meeting of the planning committee.
By a 3-2 vote, the committee voted to eliminate the long-contested lot acreage size of the land use portion of the plan, which Harris said essentially renders the entire plan null and void.
Originally, the plan called for lot sizes to be five acres in the three-mile area outside of the city limits that the city still maintains platting control over. That number was then changed to a proposed three acres. 
However, some landowners and many realtors objected to the larger acreage size, saying it was an infringement on landowners’ rights, made buying land more difficult for people with lower incomes and would even render some lots as non-conforming and unfinanceable. Proponents of the larger lot sizes say the larger lot sizes protect property rights of existing parcels, preserve life/safety needs, preserve quality of infrastructure, have a much better chance of preserving water quality and maintaining a way of life in existing subdivisions while keeping the rural feel residents of Custer County have stated they want in previous surveys.
At the meeting, commissioner member Mark Hartman said he felt the commission had talked about the issue enough, and felt a recommendation needed to be made. To that end, he moved to make the acre size a one-acre minimum in all of the land use categories.

City of Custer community development director Rex Harris said the city’s 30 year comprehensive plan, which the city’s planning committee had been working on crafting for the past three years was “effectively killed” at the Feb. 11 meeting of the planning committee.

By a 3-2 vote, the committee voted to eliminate the long-contested lot acreage size of the land use portion of the plan, which Harris said essentially renders the entire plan null and void.

Originally, the plan called for lot sizes to be five acres in the three-mile area outside of the city limits that the city still maintains platting control over. That number was then changed to a proposed three acres. 

However, some landowners and many realtors objected to the larger acreage size, saying it was an infringement on landowners’ rights, made buying land more difficult for people with lower incomes and would even render some lots as non-conforming and unfinanceable. Proponents of the larger lot sizes say the larger lot sizes protect property rights of existing parcels, preserve life/safety needs, preserve quality of infrastructure, have a much better chance of preserving water quality and maintaining a way of life in existing subdivisions while keeping the rural feel residents of Custer County have stated they want in previous surveys.

At the meeting, commissioner member Mark Hartman said he felt the commission had talked about the issue enough, and felt a recommendation needed to be made. To that end, he moved to make the acre size a one-acre minimum in all of the land use categories.

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