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County Council Votes to Postpone Second Reading of Land Use Regulations

Daniel Prince

Move comes as public hearings are scheduled to hear public's concerns

The process toward adopting land development regulations in unincorporated areas of Union County hit a slight bump in the road Tuesday. At the urging of council member Dr. John Flood, County Council voted 4-1, with Ben Ivey voting no, to postpone second reading of the ordinance until the December council meeting. That will allow two public hearings to be held for the Planning Commission and County Council to get public feedback on the ordinance. Third reading could then be held in January.

Dr. Flood said he supports land use regulations, but after hearing from a number of concerned constituents, he said he wanted to make sure that there is enough time to modify the ordinance if needed and for people to get their questions answered. He said he wants to make sure the county does it right the first time. He said the perception is that there is a push to get this done where there doesn’t need to be a push. Tracie Campbell agreed with Flood, also saying she has heard from many constituents on the matter. She said her main concern was farmland and ensuring that future generations of farmers are protected. She said the ordinance is vague in places and needs to be specific. Flood also said the ordinance contains a provision for a land use administrator, and he said that is a position not in the budget. Interim Supervisor Bob Love said that position would have to be paid from the existing budget and included in future budgets if it passes. He noted that the Planning Commission and others have worked on this for a long time. Union County is the only county in the state without land use regulations in place. He said land use regulations were a major priority of the Union County Comprehensive Plan that was passed last October, and such an ordinance is important to the groups to which the county applies for grants. After a brief discussion, the vote was held to put off second reading of the ordinance until the December 13 meeting.

The Union County Planning Commission will hold a public meeting on Tuesday, December 6, at 4:30 p.m. at Main Street Junction to comment on the matter. County Council will hold a public hearing prior to their regular December meeting at 5:10 p.m. to receive comments on the ordinance, as well.

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