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Planning and Zoning Commission recommends amending county’s Citizens’ Bill of Right Statute

At the Gadsden County Planning and Zoning Commission meeting last Thursday (April 12) at the Board of County Com- missioners’ meeting room in Quincy, the commis- sion recommended an amendment of the County Land Development Code regarding the Citizens’ Growth Management and Planning Bill of Rights.

Commissioner Marion Lasley commented that at its January 15 meeting, the Board of County Com- missioners had asked for a workshop on this issue and Lasley doesn’t believe that ever happened.

Lasley said she would like to see the language retained as is in this provi- sion to protect citizens regarding small land use amendments as well as with public notice agree- ments.

Lasley also was in favor of keeping the need for a super majority of the board (4-1 vote required; not just 3-2) in order to enact such changes.

Lasley then motioned to include variances and special expectations in the amended bill of rights, but the motion failed for lack of a second.

Commissioner Douglas Nunamaker later re-considered that he wanted to second Lasley’s motion, but it was too late to bring back Lasley’s motion.

Another motion by Commissioner Gail Bridges-Bright, seconded by Commissioner Lori Bouie, then passed 5-2 (Lasley and Nunamaker opposed; Bridges-Bright, Bouie, Chair Ed Dixon, Vice Chair Libby Hender- son and Commissioner Regina Davis voting for) to keep the amended lan- guage to the Citizens’ Bill of Rights written by county land use consultant Allara Gutcher.

This amendment will now go the Board of County Commissioners to be decided upon at a later meeting.

In other Planning and Zoning business, a preliminary plat application for the Midway Business Park Major Subdivision (33 lots on 191.29 acres of land) was recommended for de- nial by a vote of 7-0 for lack of a completed application.

Lasley said she would like to see the project re- submitted with an updated plat map and all other incomplete items addressed.

Matt Gibson, an engineer with Talquin Electric Cooperative, also pre- sented some preliminary ideas to the commission regarding proposed solar power generation facilities to be located on the prop- erties of existing Talquin substations.

“We want to work out something that everyone could benefit from,” Gibson said. “We want to offer something that makes sense to our customers, but also makes sense to the county.”

Gibson asked the com- mission how they felt Talquin should move for- ward, and also said he would come back with a report when Talquin’s solar site in Liberty County is up-and-running.

Story By: Randall Lieberman