Rezoning moratorium request falls flat

Rezoning moratorium request falls flat

Saying they did not see a need to correct a problem that has not arisen yet, the Fayette County Board of Commissioners on Thursday evening rejected Commissioner Steve Brown’s proposal to start the process for a 150-day moratorium on rezoning applications.
Brown asked to start the process to give the county a chance to freeze all rezoning requests for 150 days to make sure the county has a solid foundation in regards to what development will fit in with the future vision of the county. He said impending growth could put too great a strain on infrastructure.
“When you have that many requests and you are turning that many back, we may have a systemic problem that we need to pay attention to and re-look at what’s going on,” said Brown, saying that a successful Pinewood Forrest development could cause real estate prospectors to salivate over other land in the center of the county, saying it could cause “deep trouble.”
“We have to make sure that we can keep pace with growth, and if we can’t keep pace with growth the way it is earmarked in the land use plan as it is now, then we make changes,” said Brown.
There was disagreement as to whether or not there have been enough rezoning requests to warrant even considering a moratorium.
“Do we put a moratorium in place to prevent a problem that has not yet occurred?” asked Chairman Charles Oddo, refuting the notion that the county is seeing an unprecedented number of requests by pointing out they have only received five so far this year after 11 in 2015. “A moratorium is an extreme measure. In order to put an extreme measure in place, I need to see extreme necessity. I’m not seeing it.”
Commissioner Charles Rousseau agreed, saying the number of requests the county was receiving was “not alarming.”
Oddo asserted that the ongoing process of updating the county’s comprehensive plan will address potential development questions. The process that has been moving since early this year is open to public input, as well as from the municipalities and planning staff.
“We’re on the right path,” said Oddo. “We don’t need to overreact.”
Colleagues agreed with several of the points in Brown’s resolution, in particular the emphasis on getting input from residents and the various municipalities to determine the direction Fayette should be heading.
“We have to be partners in the quality of life initiatives we take,” said Rousseau. “We’re doing a disservice if we operate in our own individual silos.”
Brown’s proposal failed 2-3, Oddo, Barlow, and Rousseau voting in opposition.

Christopher Dunn

Managing Editor Christopher Dunn has been with the Fayette County News since 2011, in addition to running Fayette Victory magazine. He is a graduate of Fayette County schools, as well as a graduate of Georgia State University with a degree in journalism. Follow him on twitter @fayettesports.