The Giles County Regional Planning Commission Minutes of Meeting
May 4, 2021
Members in Attendance: Erin Curry, Chairperson, David Adams, Stoney Jackson, Malcolm Moore, Tamieka Russell, Tommy Pollard, Scott Stewart, John Haislip, Roger Reedy, Kristin Pfeiffer, Absent: Bill Myers. Other County Officer attendees: Melissa Greene, County Executive; Commissioners Joyce Woodard, Harold Brooks, Duane Jones, Tracy Wilburn, Larry Worsham, Terry Harwell, Judy Pruett, Gayle Jones, and Mike Cesarini. Members of the public attending: Connie Howell, Chris Morris, Mayur Patel, Chuck Boggs, Annelle Guthrie, Nelli Moore, Keith Bennett, Debbie Young, Bill Young, Malon Cooper, Glenda Cooper, Thomas J. Dancison, Jr., Marlon Cooper, Tonya Holley, Tonya Guthrie and Jason Guthrie.
Chairperson Erin Curry opened the meeting. Minutes of the previous meeting were approved after a motion by Stoney Jackson and seconded by Tamieka Russell and after a change to the minutes was noted by Kristin Pfeiffer. The change was to clarify the bottom paragraph, first page by inserting the word previous before “The (previous) Planning Commission has already voted…..”.
Erin then addressed Old Business. Since rumors about the potential updated plan were circulating, Tommy Pollard addressed his and some of his constituents concerns about using what he termed “scare tactics”. He mentioned concerns about strip joints, nuclear waste, and medical waste and how those concerns could be put to rest due to potential locations and or typical processing of those type wastes.
Erin mentioned one of the main problems with the current Land Use Management Plan is that enforcement is lacking and/or impossible due to lack of specifics (in place since 2003) and how this commission is working to make Giles County better in land management. She further said comments on the previously provided Franklin County Zoning Plan were due by end of day Friday (May 7th) to the County Executive office. Three members had not yet submitted any comment.
Roger Reedy spoke of such a plan being a balancing act between two different opinions – one group wanting to manage their own property and two, concerns about some people being willing to exploit not only their own but other people’s property. John Haislip asked that whatever the outcome, that it be simple, in reference to Franklin County’s 120 page plan. Erin mentioned that enforcement is a big part of how the plan is implemented and that Giles County doesn’t have to use everything from Franklin County.
David Adams spoke for his constituents saying they don’t want big government and related that to more potential growth in Giles County. Erin mentioned the recent census, which may well show growth anyway. She also said in June the meeting would be used to start on how to approach this after all the comments are compiled.
New Business: Erin allowed members of the public to comment. Attorney Thomas Dancison, Jr. who spoke first said he had experience in Pennsylvania in zoning. He mentioned the various suits brought, the timing and length, e.g. state supreme court, the county funding required to counter; and the staff required for a zoning board. After that several members of the public addressed areas such as will the comments on the plan be made public (Erin Yes); What is reason to put forth the plan – Erin: current plan opened the county up to issues, e.g. County Executive personally would be required to visit each potential violation and evaluate, and then determine how to enforce.
Melissa stated the county doesn’t have to have one, but noted this commission has voted to look closely at light and heavy industrial and some commercial. That people don’t want all zoning, but do want to be protected from big stuff. In addition the County attorney has told the County that we should clean up the existing plan to cover some of the “holes”.
Scott Stewart said it’s up to the County Commissioners to implement after this particular Commission votes. Further that you can get rid of it but be sure you know what you might be giving up.
Member of public Tonya Holley mentioned her copy not signed. David Adams mentioned the 2003 plan was passed by the commission after several town hall meetings that were well attended. Other public comments related to an older lawsuit to stop or delay zoning; the Jackson law to have police enforce; state laws in place for issues such as nuclear waste, etc so don’t need local; and final public comment from Marlon Cooper “Abolish it, please”.
Erin thanked the public for their input and concluded that the next meeting will be June 1st in same location. John Haislip proposed and Scott Stewart 2nd meeting be adjourned. Motion carried.