Land Use

The Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District recognizes that planned growth and guided rural and urban expansion is necessary for proper use and conservation of the county's natural resources. Wise use of land is needed so that unnecessary damage to property resulting from sediment pollution, flooding, inadequate removal of surface water, inadequate soil drainage, and improper waste disposal will not degrade the environment.

The District believes there is a need to protect prime agricultural land from other uses. Once lost from production, it is difficult and costly to recover. An increased population will depend on good agricultural land to produce adequate amounts of food and fiber. According to the Jennings County Soil Survey over 95% of the soil in the county has a severe limitation for septic tank filter fields because of high water table, steepness of slope, or slow permeability. When residential development occurs on soils with these limitations, it not only lowers the tax base, but is costly to the owner and the local government to correct the problem of sewage disposal.

Therefore, it is the policy of the Jennings County Soil and Water Conservation District to support the following statements on land use:

1. The District endorses the concept of county-wide planning and zoning as a means to guide and control development.

2. The District encourages the use of the Jennings County Soil Survey in making land use decisions. The District believes that the Soil Survey is the best tool available to the county on which it can base sound land use decisions. The District supports the soils maps, interpretations, and limitation ratings of slight, moderate, and severe for each soil as determined by the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.

3. The District supports land use regulations which would encourage residential development with septic tanks to take place on soils which exhibit slight or moderate limitations for residential development with septic tanks, and prohibit residential developments with septic tanks on soils having severe limitations for residential development with septic tanks unless special measures are installed to overcome these limitations.

4. The District recommends that all proposed changes of land use be accompanied by a water management plan and a plan to control erosion both during and after construction. The District would like to review all plans before construction is started.

5. The District recommends strict agricultural zoning to prevent other forms of land use from encroaching into areas set aside for agriculture. This would avoid the conflicts which arise when there is a mixing of agriculture and non-agricultural land use.

6. The District will cooperate with local governmental units, landowners, and developers to help carry out these land use policies.