PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING
6 JUNE 2023
The Chair Connie Howell opened the meeting asking Malcolm Moore to offer a prayer and lead the pledge. The minutes of 2 May 2023 were moved for approval by Commissioner Erin Curry, seconded by Scott Stewart, and were approved unanimously.
First Agenda Item – E-911 Process for New Construction. E-911 Director Gwen Gracy brought information which she showed to the Commission on the number of addresses she had provided since September 2021 with that number being significant. She said during that time she had only two complaints in how those addresses were provided. Those complaints being the individuals who did not get the address they wanted. She said her protocol is providing addresses that any emergency response vehicle can find. A question on building in the flood plain was answered with the E-911 Director saying it was rare for anyone to want to building in the flood plain. The County Executive (CE) Graham Stowe said regarding the process of assigning addresses, that should be on the county website especially for new construction. Scott Stewart said an earlier planning commission had discussed a checklist but that was not developed. The E-911 Director said she has to address many different divisions of development. Scott Stewart asked if she was familiar with the sub-division standards developed by this commission and she said no. She said to get an address, they have to drop off a plat, and if Tommy Hyatt has penciled that plat in on her map, she will give the new address. Scott Stewart said that is opposite what this commission has been told, which is she’s not supposed to give the address until all required signatures are on the plat. In discussing what needs to happen next, the CE said he would invite the County Clerk, E-911 Director, Property Assessor, EMS Director, and Register of Deeds (all required signatures) to attend the next meeting. And for clarification for the E-911 Director, the agenda item was not due to the two complaints for the E-911 operation. Ms. Gracy said some of the developers wait until they actually subdivide the land and wait to record until the lots are sold (giving them a cost saving in taxes). Commissioner Erin Curry said if the developer is not doing a road, we don’t see. Commissioner Mathew Hopkins asked about digitalization of the information, with Kristen Pfeiffer saying once a deed is done it is on line. Commissioner David Adams questioned a statement that you can’t be issued a building permit in a flood zone, with the CE saying you can build just not advised. With others saying the lendor will stop the loan on a building planned within the flood plain, unless steps have been taken to elevate the building above that level. A question raised on who determines flood plain locations, with FEMA and TEMA mapping identified with some on-site determinations and some from surveyed information. The discussion moved to when the E-911 organization was established and that it is not a county office with Scott Stewart saying it is governed by their board. A motion by Scott Stewart, seconded by Tommy Pope, was made to ask all signatures required on the final plat including Ms. Gracy be here in August (next meeting) with the understanding of what they expect from the commission and vice versa. The motion was approved unanimously. The CE said that the outcome of such a meeting could be a flow chart of the process.
Old Business – New Business The CE gave a handout resulting from the Commission Members input to a recent survey. Areas of interest were: Needs more attention; Top two Goals; Challenges; One Short Term Goal; Resources; Misc Comments; and Next Steps. The CE said this should be discussed in August and would like for the members to bring back their comments. However with a full agenda already for August, he suggested the strategy then be done in September. Those meeting dates being 1 August and 5 September.
Malcolm Moore raised the question that if the Planning Commission was put into existence by Resolution, and is the current Commission in line. The Chair had researched the early Resolution but it was rather lengthy and complex. The CE said he would send it out to the Commission. Zoning had been lightly discussed in that some want none, some would like a balance. Mr. Moore mentioned a rather early presenter from state that said we didn’t have to have a zoning plan.
A motion to adjourn was made by Tommy Pope, seconded by John Haislip, and was approved unanimously.
ATTENDEES: Members of the Commission – Chair Connie Howell, Malcolm Moore, Kristen Pfeiffer, Tommy Pope, Scott Stewart, John Haislip (absent Tamieka Russell, Bill Myers) Commissioner Members – Terry Jones, Erin Curry, Annelle Guthrie, Other Commissioners attending: Gayle Jones, Mathew Hopkins, Joyce Woodard, David Adams, Other: County Executive Graham Stowe, E-911 Director Gwen Gracy