For those with an opinion, idea or suggestion about future development in the planning and zoning district in Camden County, the chance to get involved in the process of mapping out a master plan is now.

The first step in a year-long process of gathering public input will begin this week when the planning commission and the consultants hired to redo the master plan hold the first in a series of public meetings.


For those with an opinion, idea or suggestion about future development in the planning and zoning district in Camden County, the chance to get involved in the process of mapping out a master plan is now.
The first step in a year-long process of gathering public input will begin this week when the planning commission and the consultants hired to redo the master plan hold the first in a series of public meetings.
The final plan will serve as a policy guide on how development will happen in the future as well as identify land use, according to planning director Chris Hall.
The purpose of the  meetings scheduled for Aug. 26-27 is to explain the process for developing the Lake Area Master Plan for the planning and zoning district and provide the public with an opportunity to voice their concerns about future development and issues.
Although Camden County adopted a master plan for the planning and zoning district that encompasses the lake in 2004, it’s time to take a look at the existing plan and prepare for the future, Hall said.
Planning and zoning has been a controversial issue since it was adopted by the county. By involving the public throughout the process, the people who are directly impacted by the rules and regulations will be able to take an active role in helping shape the future of the district, Hall said.
The district encompasses the lake and extends up to 5 miles inland.
“Public participation is crucial to developing a long-range plan for growth and development in the lake area,” he said. “This is the opportunity to get involved and plan for the future of the Lake Area Planning and Zoning District.”
A good comprehensive plan promotes orderly and rational development so that the community remains physically attractive while we preserve important natural or historic resources, according to Marty Sewell, senior planner for MACTEC Engineering and Consultants, Inc., the firm hired to prepare the plan.
The planning process will help the lake area invest its money wisely in infrastructure such as roads, water and sewers, schools, parks and green space along with other facilities needed to sustain the high quality of life, Sewell said.
The planning process for developing the comprehensive plan will include multiple opportunities for the public to get involved with workshops planned for locations throughout the lake area over the next 12 months.On Tuesday, Aug. 26, the meeting will be held from 10-11:30 a..m. in the third floor conference room at the Camden County Courthouse.
On Wednesday, Aug. 27, the meeting will move to the Osage Beach/Lake Ozark area. The meeting will get underway at 7 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church on Bagnell Dam  Blvd. 
Contact this reporter at joycem@lakesunleader.com