Guest Editorial: What they forgot to tell us about the mass rezoning

In response to a question asked by one of the commissioners at Planning Commission’s work session last week relating to how the LDC/County-wide rezoning process started, Mr. Crooks responded that the process began several years ago because folks wanted to have a way of protecting the rural character of the county.


I was one of those folks and I support that notion. And at the invitation of Mr. Crooks, a group of citizens began having discussions in 2017 to advance that notion.

I attended one of the first LDC citizen input meetings here in 2018 hosted by staff. At the end of the meeting, staff stated that stakeholders’ meetings would begin that week.

I thought to myself, “Well, who are we?  Are we not stakeholders?”  When I asked, I was told “county organizations, EMS, developers…”  Developers?

When I asked when the developers’ meeting was, I was told that it was not open to the public.

So, between then and now, and in all the input meetings and official Council and Planning Commission meetings that I have attended or viewed via live-streaming, there was no correlation made or directly stated that building standards to protect the rural character would lead to Council giving up their right to manage growth across 100% of the county.  Or to be able to weigh in on whether roads and schools and other infrastructure could handle that development.

There was no correlation made that better building standards would lead to losing the privileges that we — as property owners — all have now, if Council approves the Map. 

There was no mention that now multi-family tri-plexes and quad-plexes, which are likely rental units, would be constructed within established neighborhoods or areas that are composed of strictly single-family, detached homes.

There was no mention that families owning land could no longer carve off a ¾ -acre parcel to give to an heir.

There was no mention that there would be a mass rezoning of over 110,000 parcels.

Staff has worked very hard.  But their drive or charge is not the same as mine or most of us.

The devil is in the details and a very important one has been left unsaid during this process:  Council will be abdicating their authority to manage growth to a piece of paper and by doing so will give free reign to builders to develop without any oversight to the impacts it will cause.

A commissioner asked, “Who will be the winners and the losers if this Map passes?” 

Between the builders and the property owners… it’s sure not us.

Keep the current zoning map in place, re-apply those zoning designations back into the new Code and update the standards to make them good.  Do an infrastructure study and urge Council to keep their power to manage growth, instead of giving it to developers.

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