COUNTY: Comp plan concerns

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The Planning Department, with some unofficial, pre-hearing guidance from a county commissioner, chose to combine the newly proposed goals and policies for the comprehensive plan with the narrative and outdated background data from the 9-year-old plan. This was done at the last minute before the County Commissionersí hearing and was in defiance of the Planning Commissionís wishes. This is like replacing the last chapter of one novel with the first chapter of another or mixing the fresh milk with the remaining sour milk in the pitcher.

The two documents are out of context and incompatible. Their combination will be confusing and misleading. Inconsistencies in the combined document are sure to lead to inconsistencies in land-use decisions and other decisions by county officials. The Planning Commissionís aim was to draft Phase 1 (goals and policies) of a concise, clear and unbiased comprehensive plan. The draft was short and was generally well-received by the public.

In contrast, this combined document will be more than 10 times longer, confusing and contradictory. Some people may find comfort in referring to one of the documents as an addendum to the other. But an addendum is something added, not something replaced. From the beginning, the intent was to replace, not add to the old plan.

The proposed goals and policies were to be step one, with a general land-use map to follow. Then, helpful demographics, history, etc. will be the addenda. Please keep it simple. There are two separate documents: an old one slated for replacement and a proposed new one.

JOHN McFADDIN

Medimont

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