01/19/05 — Consultant firm sought to develop countywide land-use plan

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Consultant firm sought to develop countywide land-use plan

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on January 19, 2005 2:10 PM

The Wayne County Board of Commissioners agreed Tuesday to seek an outside firm to help develop a countywide land-use plan.

The board voted unanimously to ask consulting firms to submit their qualifications for working on the project.

The commissioners will decide later exactly what the consultant will do, including the timetable. "You can go through a planning process that's five years, two years, or three months," said County Manager Lee Smith. "It's up to you to decide how we'll do this."

The board expects to hire a firm by spring. Public meetings could be held this summer or in the fall. The consultant could cost as much as $100,000, depending on the scope of the work.

A land-use plan is essentially a map that shows how the county should develop, officials say. It would ask to keep some areas agricultural, show where homes could be built, and mark other areas for shopping centers or industries.

A land-use plan does not restrict the use of property the way that zoning does, county officials said. It could, however, lead to more zoning in areas that are developing rapidly.

A plan can help guide development, they say, by allowing for better planning for infrastructure needs and protection of natural resources.