At the regular monthly meeting of the Gadsden County Planning Commission on Thursday, June 14,
four changes to the county’s Land Use Comprehensive Plan were considered, with three of the changes recommended for final approval by the Board of County Commissioners to send to the state’s Department of Economic Opportunity for review.
One of the four changes was not recommended by the commission.
All of the changes to the county’s Land Use Comprehensive Plan were proposed by Allara Gutcher, the county’s land use consultant.
Concurrency Management Element
An amendment to remove the Concurrency Management Element of the plan (referring to the availability of services such as water, sanitary sewer, roadway capacity, park space, solid waste, storm water and school capacity) was recommended for approval by the board by a commission vote of 7-0. This amendment included a future proposal to include these sorts of regulations in the county’s Land Development Code.
Traffic Circulation Element
An amendment to remove the Traffic Circulation Element from the plan and to rename this element the Transportation Element with new verbiage also was recommended for approval by the board by a commission vote of 7-0. According to Gutcher, this element of the plan had not been changed since 2001. Gutcher said this element is the guiding policy language for the provision of varying modes of transportation within the county, including non-vehicular transportation such as pedestrian, bicycle and trail uses.
An amendment of the Conservation Element of the plan to update specific policies for clarification purposes also was recommended for approval of the board by a commission vote of 7-0. According to Gutcher, the Conservation Element is the guiding policy language for the conservation and preservation of natural areas, flora and fauna deemed locally environmentally significant. These include air, water, wetlands, water wells (wellhead protection), soils, flood plains and wildlife. This Conservation Element also is required to include policies that address known pollution problems like hazardous wastes.
Open Space Element
However, a proposed amendment of the Recreation and Open Space Element of the plan to update specific policies was recommended to be tabled and brought back to the board at a later time by a commission vote of 7-0. Gutcher said the Recreation and Open Space Element is the guiding policy language for those lands used for recreational purposes and the areas the county deems important to retain as open space.
By Randall Lieberman