A debate has begun whether or not Camden County should continue with a Planning and Zoning commission.

A debate has begun whether or not Camden County should continue with a Planning and Zoning commission. Opponents of P&Z are gathering their forces and have begun a campaign to do away with what they perceive as an unnecessary regulatory stumbling block to commerce and business growth here at the lake. Within the ranks of the local Republican Party are two factions with opposing views.

One faction is the "Old school" — local Republican conservatives who believe P&Z is necessary in maintaining responsible growth in and around our lake. The other side of the argument is being led by the Tea Party and Libertarian wing of the local Republican Party. Since the Republicans are in control of local politics here in Camden County whichever faction ultimately prevails will dictate what ultimately happens.

At issue is whether or not there is a need for responsible regulation of new business growth and a need to protect the rights of property owners from unwanted commercial enterprise encroachment on their back door steps. Many fear that without P&Z, bars, restaurants, night clubs, marinas and many other businesses could pop up right next to vacation homes.

Folks worry (and rightly so) that without regulation the Lake of the Ozarks could one day turn into the urban blight many of us moved here to escape in the first place.

Without responsible control of growth the paradise found here at our beautiful lake could disappear completely. The mission of P&Z is to oversee the economic growth of the lake area while maintaining the area for vacationers and residents. It is not an easy balancing act and with every decision someone will always be disappointed by the P&Z.

The other side of the argument is that there is already too many regulations standing in the way of commerce and business. That capitalism should be allowed unfettered by rules and regulations.

They believe if left alone business will take care of itself and economic growth is good for everyone. They say that less regulation is good in nearly every case, business is best served when left on its own.

I say that new businesses and expansion of existing businesses isn't always best for everyone.

The communities here at the lake are not best served by neon signs advertising on the our lake, noisy businesses building next to vacation homes or economic growth which turns the lake into just another big city.

The natural beauty of our lake and the opportunity to enjoy the rustic grandeur of the area should be preserved. We have a responsibility to balance economic growth while at the very same time ensuring that generations to come can enjoy their vacations here with their families.

Doing away with P&Z would be a disaster for folks living here now and all future visitors or residents.

The only thing standing in the way of irresponsible expansion is the Camden County Planning and Zoning Commission. I say that doing away with the only regulatory agency that protects us from over expansion of a tourist area like the Lake of the Ozarks is a very bad idea.

Those who disagree with me will one day regret their position when nothing is left of this beautiful place so many of us call, "Home!"