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Sups reviews village plan for Joetown

BY BEN MARKS | DECEMBER 12, 2014 5:00 AM

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The village of Joetown has recently received a plan for its future.

Joetown, a 117-person village in Johnson County, recently received a village plan from the Johnson County Board of Supervisors.

Supervisor Rod Sullivan said that in 2008, the supervisors began visiting villages around Johnson County with the goal of implementing a “Village Planning Document” for each one.

The reason for starting this project six years ago, he said, was a land dispute and a lack of official boundaries in villages.

At 815 acres, the supervisors said Joetown is one of the larger villages they’ve worked with.

A village plan, Assistant Planner for Planning and Zoning Josh Busard said, sets a legal boundary for the village and also develops a vision statement and goal for growth of quality of life and infrastructure.

“One of the reasons we want to plan for villages, besides the fact they’re some of our traditional growth areas, is we want to help these small rural communities balance growth opportunities as well as some of their preservation goals,” he said.

Creating the boundary for the village, Busard said, is often the most contentious issue the village plan deals with, deciding who’s in and who’s out. He said the supervisors tried to be very considerate of where property lines ended.

In addition, Busard said the village plan identified some of the strengths of Joetown, including a very stable community, low property tax, and closeness to Kalona, as well as its weaknesses, such as no cable TV or tornado shelter.

One of the future goals Busard said the town is interested in pursuing is the creation of a public park or community area, as well as maintaining local commercial development.

So far, Sullivan said, plans have been developed and implemented for seven out of nine villages — Frytown, Cosgrove, Morse, Oasis, Sharon Center, and Sutliff, with Joetown being the latest.

The next village to receive a plan will be Windham.


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