Lincoln adopts county zoning

February 15, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - County-wide planning and zoning has moved from fiction to fact, with a tie breaking vote by Lincoln Judge-Executive Buckwheat Gilbert during the second reading of the ordinance Friday.

At the sparsely attended session fiscal court magistrates listened as local officials took turns reading sections of the lengthy ordinance. The final reading was followed by call for any questions, and after none were raised, the ordinance was narrowly approved 3-2.

Fiscal Court magistrates Mark Denham, Bill Dyehouse and Gilbert voted yes for the ordinance, while Earlin Cress and Terry Wilcher dissented.

The passage of the bill met with light applause, and Gilbert recognized those who spent time studying and amending the 80-plus page document.


"They've all put in a lot of hours. I'm just real proud of them, and I'll tell you what, this is a big step in leadership for Lincoln County," said Gilbert.

Dissenters Cress and Wilcher said they voted in accordance with the wishes of their constituents, but hope planning and zoning will help the county.

"There's just too many in my district against it," said Cress. "I hope it turns out for the best."

Supporter Denham said his district felt differently. "I've had more good phone calls from people thanking me for planning and zoning. It takes nerve to stand up and do what's right in the county."

Rhonda Brown, County Administrative/Enforcement officer and certified building inspector, says the measure has already shown signs it will benefit citizens. "I think it will be a big asset to Lincoln County. We've already had new businesses that are interested (in coming here) and I think it's due to the part of planning and zoning."

A board of adjustments must now be appointed before the laws can come into affect. That process is expected to begin this week, and could call on county citizens to serve.

March could see the first enforcement of the zoning ordinances, and while all current homes and land in the county have been grandfathered in, future builders will see changes.

"I've always heard the saying, 'you can't change where you're from'," said County Attorney John Hackley, "but our fiscal court and county judge have proven that if you come home and work hard, you really can made a difference in your home county."

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