To the editor:
I recently attended a work session held by a local city government. Certain subjects discussed were amendments to zoning regulations. I went to be informed of such amendments.
At the end of the session, a gentleman introduced himself. He knows I am concerned about the Urban Growth Management Agreement (UGMA).
I expressed my concern that we as county residents have no voice in the enactment of this plan which would grant control of our property to the city.
I remarked that I have not met one county resident in favor of this power grab. I have spoken with numerous people and all are opposed.
He said he is a county resident and in favor. He is also an appointed member of the city planning commission.
Understand, he was appointed by the city. Obviously he was selected for his pro UGMA stance.
The Kansas statute granting power to cities to create a fair planning commission, states that two of the five-member commission be comprised of residents living outside city boundaries but within three miles of the city limits.
We as county residents who oppose UGMA are not allowed to vote for or against UGMA or for city officials who have power to implement this plan.
If two members of the planning commission are required to reside outside city limits, the choice should be made by county residents not a city council.
These members should represent our wishes as county taxpayers instead of favoring the city’s agenda.
I believe the Legislature, when writing this statute, was wise in requiring two members of the planning commission to reside outside city limits.
However, it was an oversight to allow their appointment by the city council. These commissioners must be selected by county residents.
As county property owners we may not vote on city proposals or candidates. Our right to select two commissioners is our only hope to protect our property rights.
This letter is not intended to demean or disrespect elected city officials. I am simply exercising my right to express to Kansas lawmakers my belief that segments of the comprehensive plan statute are contrary to the protection of property owner’s rights to determine the future status of our most valuable asset.
While I’m sure elected and appointed city officials believe they are viewing a future with positive ideas, those of us county residents wishing to remain county residents are not being considered.
We are not allowed to vote on planning issues or in city elections, yet with the imposition of UGMA, we will be assessed fees for building permits and code enforcement.
This is taxation without representation. County residents would be paying fees to a city that would not provide any services.
If we as county residents are to be assessed such fees, those fees should be collected by a county implemented and managed building code plan to help fund the services the county provides for us.