The pitfalls of zoning
In looking at the idea of zoning for Morgan County, I see two problems rearing their ugly heads.
The first problem is impact fees. Regardless of how the pro-zoners try to spin it, if you have a few acres and wish to give it to your kids or grandkids to either build a house or place a manufactured home (doublewide), impact fees will eventually affect them. Pro-zoners love to say that impact fees will be paid by the “big developers.” Yes, the developers will have to pay, but so will many other everyday people in Morgan County.
Jefferson County instituted an impact fee in November 2003. By May 2005, they had added three additional impact fees. To obtain a building permit in Jefferson County now, you must first pay impact fees of between $12,000 and $13,070. Impact fees equal higher housing costs which leads to higher taxes. Simple math.
On a moral outlook on zoning, I have a problem with a few people having the ability to decide that one person’s land is worth much more than another’s just with the stroke of a pen. He who would have a commercial or industrial designation would indeed be given quite a gift by the zoning board, while others in the county would be under considerable restrictions as to what they may do with their own land.