Planning Commision to spin off variance granting duties
by Alan Reed
Apr 02, 2008 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The Cadiz/Trigg County Planning and Zoning Commission took a major step towards reorganization at their March 25 meeting by spinning off their ability to grant variances into a new board of adjustments.

Planning Commission Chairman Bob Brame said that the Planning Commission had been operating in a legal grey area with authority from the domain of a board of adjustments. “We might be in a shaky position if we are ever in a lawsuit.”

Brame added that the Planning Commission would retain domain over subdivision planning, and would grant final approval of all designs. The new board would hear variance requests, and deal with technical issues.

The Planning Commission currently boasts 10 seats, with nine filled. Brame noted the difficulty in finding members to serve on boards and proposed a novel solution. He suggested that two members of the present board serve on both panels, two resign from the planning commission and serve on the board of adjustments, and the Planning Commission reduce its total membership from 10 to eight.

Member Lucas Chesnut said, “I think this is a good idea. We’re trying to shape up the ship, and this is a step towards that goal. It seems trivial, but it’s something we have to do.”

Brame called for several motions, the first to recommend to the Trigg County Fiscal Court that the new board be established, the second to redirect powers to the new panel, a third to change the size of the Planning Commission to eight members, and a fourth to select a committee to establish bylaws and objectives.

Board Member Matt Ladd asked what would happen if the Board of Adjustment acted improperly or passed a variance the Planning Commission disagreed with.

“The Planning Commission should never grant variances,” said Brame. “We would act as an umbrella for the Board of Adjustments. If we do not like their vote, we can vote against granting final approval for a development.”

Chesnut added that though the Board of Adjustments would seat two Planning Commission members concurrently and function under the Planning Commission’s umbrella, it would be an independent board, and the public would be able to attend meetings.

Brame said that the Mayor of Cadiz and Judge/Executive of Trigg County would be tasked with appointing members to the panel.

For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.
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