Understanding the Role of Planning in a Case Study of the Amish Community in Webster County, Missouri

Date of Graduation

Summer 1992


Master of Science in Geospatial Sciences


Geography, Geology, and Planning

Committee Chair

Russell Gerlach


The Amish are a religiously and culturally distinct group of people who reject most forms of technological progress, drive horse-drawn vehicles, and do not use electricity or plumbing. When the Amish constitute a segment of the community there are special issues that arise relating to the interaction of the community as a whole, the Amish themselves, and the non-Amish who live among the Amish. These issues are: traffic safety for horse-drawn and motorized vehicles; Amish attendance at public schools; the impact of Amish farming on the rural community; the impact on the community of Amish involvement in non-farm employment; the environmental impact of non-traditional farming techniques; the potential impact of increased tourism relating to the Amish; and the provision of quality health care to all county residents. Planners can gain knowledge of the special needs of such a community and adopt strategies including comprehensive plans to determine methods for addressing these needs. Alternatives such as zoning, subdivision regulations, and site design review are some of the main tools available to implement comprehensive planning. This thesis provides recommendations for addressing the issues that arise when the Amish live among non-Amish.

Subject Categories

Earth Sciences


© Angela Rose Seffker