07/12/06 — Wayne Planning Board wants other county officials to attend its meetings

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Wayne Planning Board wants other county officials to attend its meetings

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on July 12, 2006 1:47 PM

The Wayne County Planning Board is asking other county officials to attend its meetings and to keep up with the planning process.

The Planning Board's actions have a far-reaching effect on almost every aspect of local government, members said at their meeting Tuesday. Other departments -- and the public -- would benefit by keeping up with issues as they arise.

Board members specifically said they would like to see a member of the county Board of Commissioners and a representative of the county economic development team at their meetings.

Planning Board members said an example of how the county would benefit from increased participation by other governing bodies is the routine creation of new subdivisions. If a member of the county school board, or a representative of the school system, were present when the subdivision plans are approved, they would know more about the potential for an increase in the number of school-age children in that area.

The county commissioners have to approve every decision made by planners, so if they had a representative present, it would give them a better understanding of why the Planning Board made its recommendation on an issue, they said.

Having a representative of the county's Development Alliance present would help planners in coming to some decisions about development, they noted. For example, they said, having a development official present Tuesday would have been helpful when the Planning Board was confronted by a request for rezoning request by Case Farms to expand its business near land near Seymour Johnson Air Force Base.

Within the last year, Case Farms bought land near its processing plant and has considered expanding operations within the next five years, Planning Director Connie Price said. The land is zoned for light industry. Case Farms would like to see the land rezoned to heavy industry but that would not be compatible with restrictions on land surrounding the base. Board members said they would have appreciated having someone from the Development Alliance present on Tuesday to provide input. The Planning Board held off on making a decision Tuesday until they could contact the development group.

During Tuesday's meeting, the Planning Board approved the final plat for 10 lots at Cambridge Farms, which is located on the west side of Friendly Drive near Braswell Road. The board also approved renaming a mobile home park and the streets within the property.