03/17/13 — Board takes back power

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Board takes back power

By John Joyce
Published in News on March 17, 2013 1:50 AM

The Wayne County Planning Board voted unanimously last week to adopt several changes to the approval process of subdivision plats, giving back to the board and County Planner Connie Price authority that was taken over by the county Board of Commissioners in 2010.

The 2010 change was pushed through by the Wayne County commissioners, who argued at the time that they needed to have more say with what was going on with planning issues.

The recommendation to give the power back to the Planning Board was made by the new Board of Commissioners.

The 2010 change required all plat proposals and variances requested, no matter how large or small, to be approved by the Board of Commissioners. Previously, they were approved or denied by the Planning Board.

The ordinance has since been changed and the Planning Board and Price, if the commissioners approve the changes, will once again be able to approve proposals and variance requests small enough not to require a nod from the commissioners.

It will be up to the commissioners to approve the changes and to schedule a public hearing on the matter before the new, or rather old, approval process is implemented.

"It's a time-saving measure. It is more time-consuming for the land owner, not necessarily the commissioners. It's a short item for them, but for the landowner they might have to wait a couple of months (for approval), whereas with the change, they might only have to wait a couple of days," Price said.

Also approved was a motion to send to the commissioners a request for a public hearing to discuss the Goldsboro Urbanized Area Comprehensive Plan. The land use plan was presented by consultant Dale Holland.

Holland spoke on behalf of a 12-member advisory committee comprised of people representing both the city and the county who, since 2011, have met 18 times to produce the plan.

The urbanized area plan looked at existing and future conditions, as well as recommendations, with regard to the population growth and expansion of transportation needs in both the city and county over the next several decades.

Eight key issues were identified by the plan. Chief among them, Holland said, were transportation and traffic, preservation of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and agriculture.

Holland also said that since five U.S. 70 interchanges are being developed, four in Wayne County and one within the Goldsboro city limits, transportation will continue to be a primary focus. Several other points of the plan were discussed briefly, including water, education, efficiency and cultivation of a business-friendly community.

The Planning Board, before voting to approve sending the plan up the chain to the commissioners, asked if the comprehensive plan was to date the best representation of the city and county's growth and expansion needs and was assured that it was.