“Process” (Zoning Committee) meeting coming up on Monday, 6-Feb, 6pm

Just a few early-morning thoughts about what I’m trying to accomplish at the zoning committee meeting tomorrow night (Monday, 6-Feb, 6pm, County courthouse, click HERE for the announcement).  Remember, this is a meeting of the legislative body that makes rules by which the BOA (a quasi-judicial agency) operates.  So we’re off the flight path if we bring up issues about specific applications — this committee needs to hear about ways to improve the process by which these decisions are made.


I’m trying to protect my county from making mistakes or using processes that may open up legal liabilities down the line — since i’m going to be paying the bills through my taxes.  My lawyers used to encourage me to let them practice “preventative law” to keep my organizations out of court.  That’s what this is all about.

I’m also trying to change the application and approval process to;

  • allow the whole Board to weigh the county-wide impact of applications (change zoning to industrial, triggering a zoning-change)
  • force the applicants to study the impacts and mitigation of those BEFORE the application is approved (questionnaire)
  • force the applicants to study the impacts and mitigation of those BEFORE the application is approved (questionnaire)
  • establish a baseline standard for conditions on applications (list of conditions)
  • upgrade the standard of the conditional use permits to more resemble a contract, rather than the sketchy lists we have in these first few
  • ensure that consequences for not meeting conditions are substantial enough to actually discourage the behavior (token fines won’t cut it)

Public policy

From a public policy standpoint I think we can raise a few points.

  • Does the County have processes in place to ensure that due diligence has been done before applications are approved?
  • Is the process set up in such a way that it encourages decisions that favor needs of the majority over a minority of County residents and stakeholders?
  • Is sufficient notice given to all stakeholders (including those “downstream” from mines on roads and highways) to ensure that the process is fair and transparent?

I think this meeting is really important because it presents an opportunity to improve decision-making for years to come.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.