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— The Benton County Planning Board will request the opinion of the state's attorney general regarding planning jurisdictions.

A debate over who plans in what areas has come to a head after the City of Rogers declared a primary planning zone extending one mile from its city limits and a secondary planning zone extending five miles from its city limits.

The city wants final approval on all projects inside the one-mile territory and the ability to review larger projects that lie within the remaining four miles outside of the one-mile extension, said Mark Curtis, a member of the Planning Board.

The city's stance on its planning jurisdictions causes a little confusion because law on the matter states cities "shall" plan five miles outside of their city limits.

"Some would say that the cities shall and must have that (five miles) and that it is not optional," said Heath Ward, board chairman.

"Clearly there is some dispute as to the mandatory nature of the extraterritorial jurisdictions.The state Legislature says 'they shall', which seems to suggest that they must (plan five miles outside of the city limits)," said Chris Glass, county administrator.

In order to settle the matter, the Planning Board voted to pass a resolution asking the county Planning Department to draft a letter to present to the state's attorney general to get a final answer on the subject.

News, Pages 5 on 09/02/2009

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