2008 Comprehensive Plan - Planning Tier Map

The Clay County Comprehensive Plan (PDF) was adopted in 2008 to replace the previous Comprehensive Plan from 1997. The Comprehensive Plan (also referred to as "the Plan") indicates how citizens want the County to improve and grow in both the near-term as well as the longer term up to the next 10 years.

The Plan is a rational and comprehensive guide for physical development that fosters quality growth, conservation, and preservation of natural resources and development throughout the County and its unincorporated planning area.

Clay County is a first-class, non-charter county regulating land use under authority granted to second and third-class counties in Missouri Revised Statutes, Chapter 64, et. seq.: "The county planning commission shall have the power to make, adopt and publish an official master plan of the County". These statutes provide the authority for Clay County to prepare and adopt a "Master Plan" (or comprehensive plan) through the same basic process as it has in the past.

Together with the 1999 Highway 69 Corridor and Airport Area Use studies, the adoption of the 2011 Land Development Code (LDC) (PDF), and the Northland Trails Vision Plan (NTVP), the 2008 Comprehensive Plan represents a cornerstone of direction in approving or denying land use and rezoning requests that will reach far into the future.

Land Use Tier Policy

The 2008 Comprehensive Plan established a Land Use Tier Policy strategy to protect the future environmental and economic health of Clay County. The tier concept is important to conserve agricultural uses, open space, and rural lands, as well as future development opportunities.

Directing growth to urban growth areas reduces the stress on overall public services and road maintenance responsibilities, thus limiting the distribution of residential properties and the extent of the roadway network that would otherwise be necessary to serve a spread-out, low-density development pattern.

The 3 Levels of the Land Use Tier Policy include:

  • Natural Resources Tier (Yellow on Planning Tier Map (PDF))
    Generally consists of areas principally in use for agricultural production and may be used for farming, crops, pasture, agribusiness ventures such as growing and marketing of products, and a limited number of rural residences. This tier is located outside of the Urban Service Tiers. Such areas are intended to remain generally undeveloped unless logical expansion of the urban area occurs inside one of the Urban Service Tiers.
  • Rural Low-Density Tier (Green)
    Generally consists of areas located where there are no immediate or near-term urban services. Typically the areas are beyond one mile of an existing municipality in unincorporated Clay County, and beyond one mile from a major drainage way having existing or planned sanitary sewer service. These areas may be appropriate for large-lot subdivisions served by permitted septic systems and other low-density residential development depending on environmental considerations.
  • Urban Services Tier (Salmon)
    Generally, areas located in sub-basins can have gravity flow sewers to existing or future wastewater treatment plants. The tier indicates land within about one mile of a city boundary, which is the area where advice and consent of the city are sought as input to the County’s regulatory decision. The areas close-in to cities with ready access to municipal or regional sewer districts with a full range of urban services available should be reserved for urban development, irrespective of time frames. The land proposed for urban development in the higher-density residential districts, and the non-residential districts should be served by appropriate facilities and services which are adequate to support this more intense, non-agricultural development. The intent is that land should not be approved for development unless and until adequate appropriate facilities exist or provision has been made for public facilities.

Each level addresses unique, specific development standards such as the intent, primary uses, residential uses, non-residential uses, minimum sanitary sewer provisions, and appropriate zoning districts.  For more information, please review Chapter 4 of the 2008 Clay County Comprehensive Plan (PDF).

Planning Tier Map

The Land Use Tier Policy is graphically depicted by geography on the Planning Tier Map (PDF).
Important Note: The map is 42 inches by 60 inches long, and is approximately 4.5 MB in file size.

Our Jurisdiction

The Clay County Planning & Zoning Department has home rule jurisdiction or control over only the unincorporated areas of the County, or those areas outside of city limits.  If you live within an incorporated city, you will need to contact your city regarding any planning and zoning matters as only they have control inside their city boundaries.