Proposed Greene County Land Use Plan


Greene County Land Use Plan (pdf)


Frequently Asked Questions


What is a Land Use Plan?
Why is a Land Use Plan Important?
Do we have Planning and Zoning in Greene County?
What is a public hearing?
Why does the County need a comprehensive plan?
Why is a new plan needed?
Would this plan change my property's zoning?
How do I find out how my property is presently zoned?
How do I change my zoning?
How do I divide my land into lots for sale?
How can I currently subdivide my land if it's zoned A-1 Agricultural?
What's the difference between white, green, and yellow areas on the Greene County Land Use Plan map?
What's the link between development and sewer lines and water lines?
When and where will municipal sewers and water be extended to the Urban Growth Area, and who pays for it?
How would this plan impact property values in the county?
How would this plan impact property tax assessment in the county?
When and how would this plan be finalized?
Where can I get more information?

What is a Land Use Plan?

The Land Use Plan is one part of a Comprehensive Plan for Greene County. A Comprehensive Plan is a guide adopted by the County to use in making decisions on zoning and subdivision issues, to insure the County develops in the manner described in the Comprehensive Plan. A Comprehensive Plan is made of several parts, which include in addition to a Land Us Plan, a Transportations Plan, an Parks Open Space Plan, an Economic Plan, and other Plans as needed.

Why is a Land Use Plan Important?

The Land Use Plan portion of the Comprehensive Plan suggests what the future land uses in unincorporated Greene County will be. The Plan serves as a guide towards the future.

Do we have Planning and Zoning in Greene County?

Yes, Greene County adopted Planning and Zoning in 1971. When Greene County became a first class county in 1978, new regulations were adopted and are still in use. The 1981 Comprehensive Plan was developed because of the change to a first class county.

What is a public hearing?

A public hearing is an opportunity for citizens to speak on record about concerns or in support of an issue before the Greene County Planning Board, Greene County Board of Zoning Adjustment, or the County Commission.

Why does the County need a comprehensive plan?

A comprehensive plan helps guide decisions impacting growth and development in the unincorporated portions of Greene County. The plan helps the County to grow while coordinating with other cities and state agencies and helps make efficient use of tax-funded resources. Also, state law requires any jurisdiction with Planning & Zoning authority to have a comprehensive plan. Greene County voters approved the county's Planning & Zoning authority in 1971. Planning & Zoning law is detailed in Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 64.

Why is a new plan needed?

Greene County's last comprehensive plan was approved in 1981 and, since then, has been in constant use. While the 1981 Comprehensive Plan has been an important and valuable tool, much has changed in Greene County since its adoption. An updated plan would better address issues related to the unprecedented growth the county has experienced since the 1990s as well as today's emerging issues, like water protection and preservation of valuable agricultural land.

One of the most important issues addressed in the new plan is population growth. Greene County's diverse economy, low cost of living, temperate seasons and beautiful setting help make it a very attractive place to live, and the county's population has skyrocketed in the last two decades. From 1990 to 2000, the county, including the cities within it, grew from 205,000 to 240,000 residents, adding more new people than the entire population of Webster County at the time. U.S. Census estimates show another 15,000 have moved to Greene County since then.

Would this plan change my property's zoning?

No. The plan would not change any existing zoning. The plan is intended only as a guide for future zoning requests. To change your property's zoning, an application must be made to the Greene County Planning & Zoning Office, and the Greene County Planning & Zoning Board and Greene County Commission must hold public hearings before rendering a decision.

How do I find out how my property is presently zoned?

All property in unincorporated Greene County is zoned. Zoning maps are available at the Greene County Planning & Zoning Office, Greene County Historic Courthouse, Room 306, 940 N. Boonville, Springfield. The county encourages residents with questions to call the Planning & Zoning Office at (417) 868-4005 or to come in and visit with a staff member. Please note: Greene County zoning applies only to properties in the unincorporated portions of the county, not properties located within city limits of Springfield or any other municipality. For zoning information inside city limits, contact your city hall.

How do I change my zoning?

You must submit an application to the Greene County Planning & Zoning Office, along with applicable documentation and fees. Applications for rezoning are reviewed by county planning staff for appropriateness based upon availability of water, wastewater and other utility services, compatibility with surrounding land use and environmental factors like sinkholes and floodplains.

Planning staff makes a recommendation for approval or denial and prepares a report for review by the Greene County Planning & Zoning Board. The board holds public hearings on the third Tuesday of each month to and takes public testimony on each current zoning proposal. After considering the report and public testimony, the board makes a recommendation to the Greene County Commission. On the first Monday of the following month, the commission holds a second public hearing where citizen are allowed to give their input. Final decisions on rezoning cases are made by the Greene County Commission.

How do I divide my land into lots for sale?

Subdivision of property in the unincorporated portions of the county is governed by the Greene County Subdivision Regulations, copies of which are at the Greene County Planning & Zoning Office or online at http://www.greenecountymo.org/resource_management/pz.php.

The manner in which land can be subdivided depends largely on its zoning. If you are subdividing property into more than three lots, an application for proper zoning must be approved by the Greene County Commission (unless lots are 10 acres or larger.) After zoning is granted, a subdivisions plat map must be prepared by a registered surveyor and submitted to the Greene County Planning Department for review. Planning staff determines if the proposed subdivision conforms to the zoning for the property and to the subdivision regulations. The plat is then forwarded to the Greene County Planning & Zoning Board for a single public hearing. Plat proposals are not reviewed by the County Commission.

No matter how many lots, state statute allows property owners to subdivide land into parcels of 10 acres or larger without preparing a subdivision plat or making rezoning request.

How can I currently subdivide my land if it's zoned A-1 Agricultural?

Based upon Zoning and Subdivision Regulations the county adopted in 1978, several options are already available:

  • No matter how many new lots are created, state statute allows property owners to subdivide land into parcels of 10 acres or larger without making a rezoning request or submitting a subdivisions plat map, unless a new public road is dedicated in the process. Deeds, however, must always be prepared and recorded by the Greene County Recorder of Deeds.
  • If you own 20 acres or more, you may subdivide that into two 5-acre tracts without rezoning, on a one-time basis. You do this by submitting an Administrative Subdivision Request to the Planning & Zoning Office for review. This type of request helps family farmers to deed smaller tracts of land to their children without rezoning. Administrative Subdivisions are recorded by the Planning & Zoning Office, and will not be allowed on the same tract of land more than once, even if the property is sold.
  • You may apply to rezone all or a portion of your property to A-R Agriculture-Residential, which allows subdividing of property into 5-acre tracts or larger. The Greene County Commission's final decision takes into account sinkholes, floodplains, soils, septic suitability and other factors.
  • You may apply to rezone all or a portion of your property to RR-1 Rural-Residential, which allows subdivide of property into 3 acres or larger. Again, the Greene County Commission's final decision takes into account sinkholes, floodplains, soils, septic suitability and other factors.
  • You may apply to rezone and plat your property as a Conservation Development District. This allows lots as small as 2-acres, and may give the same total number of lots you could sell if you subdivided the same property as RR-1. But this also requires that 40% of the land area be conserved as either agricultural land or open space. Final approval of a Conservation Development District is, once again, determined by taking into account sinkholes, floodplains, soils, septic suitability and other factors. The conserved area remains in private ownership - either yours or a property owners' association, if you elect to create one with your subdivision plat. The conserved area does not become owned or maintained by the County or Missouri Conservation Department.
  • If municipal water and sewer is already available on your property, you may apply to rezone for various levels of higher density residential development.

What's the difference between white, green, and yellow areas on the Greene County Land Use Plan map?

The white, green, and yellow areas correspond to details outlined in the proposed Land Use Plan. The following provides a description of these areas:

In the white areas, agriculture area, lack of municipal water and sewer is likely to impact zoning and subdivision plat development in a manner that would allow property to remain in large lots for agriculture or open space. Property in the white area may still be divided as A-1, using an Administrative Subdivision or a Conservation Development District. Tracts could be recommended for rezoning to rural residential, if factors specific to that property indicate that such a rezoning would be appropriate.

The green areas, rural residential area, are where most of the county's 3- and 5-acre lots are currently located. It seems logical in these areas to continue that style of residential use and zoning requests would be processed accordingly. Also, conservation developments may be encouraged, if the soils are adequate. Because municipal water and sewer is not planned for these areas, higher density development would not be encouraged.

The yellow areas, urban residential area, are where most of the county's urban subdivisions are currently located. The availability of urban services makes these areas likely to continue the existing style of residential use and zoning requests would be processed accordingly. Also, conservation developments may be encouraged, if the soils are adequate.

None of these areas are defined by hard and fast boundaries. The map is to be used as a general guide only. Again, zoning changes and development depend upon the landowner. Your current zoning and land use will not change unless you request it.

What's the link between development and sewer lines and water lines?

Greene County currently requires all urban-style development to be on public water and sewer, including 10,000-square-foot lots and smaller, along with urban commercial and industrial development. Also, state law requires wells to be located 100 feet away from septic systems.

When and where will municipal sewers and water be extended to the Urban Growth Area, and who pays for it?

Sewers are owned by municipalities. If sewers are installed for new development, they are generally paid for by developers. Each city has a maximum sewage treatment capacity regulated by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. When land is developed, part of the developer's cost is extension and installation of municipal sewer and water supply. Sewer and water availability depends upon both a municipality's plan for large water mains and sewage trunk lines and the rate of development in a particular area.

How would this plan impact property values in the county?

Currently, property in unincorporated Greene County is valued for its residential development potential. This plan is designed to maintain those property values by encouraging efficient development now while ensuring sufficient land is available for future residential development.

How would this plan impact property tax assessment in the county?

This plan, on its own, will have no impact upon property tax assessments. Property tax assessment in Missouri is based upon property use, not zoning. Only a change in land use would impact property tax assessments.

When and how would this plan be finalized?

This plan is still in draft form. Comments made or written on comment cards at public meetings, or otherwise submitted to county officials, will be taken into consideration before a final draft is completed. Then formal public hearings will be held when the final draft goes to the Greene County Planning Board and the Greene County Commission. This is anticipated some time in 2009.

Where can I get more information?

A copy of the plan is posted on the Greene County website, and copies are also available by contacting the Planning & Zoning Office. Staff members and county officials are also happy to discuss your concerns with you. Call (417) 868-4005 or visit the office in the Greene County Historic Courthouse, 940 Boonville, Room 306, Springfield, MO 65802.