Citizens speak out on Garrard zoning regs

June 16, 2004|EMILY BURTON

LANCASTER - The Garrard County Planning Commission discussed some objectives Tuesday night with the group involved in six previous public discussions. The focus was on what the citizens of the county want. Several members of the community were on hand to remind commission members of just that.

After the commission discussed the community's wish to protect their land but refrain from instating land-use regulations, one audience member spoke vehemently against dismissing the benefits of regulations out of hand, calling the ordinances "property insurance."

"How are you going to stop the hog farms, go-carts, dumps, and the burying of AIDS infected needles in the sacred soil of Garrard County, without enacting land use regulations?" asked Barry Peel of the commission. He also negated the argument that people didn't want the government telling them how to use their land. Look at imminent domain, laws against growing marijuana, and tobacco quotas, said Peel.


"The idea that you can do anything with your land is not true. It's not been true, and it's never going to be true," said Peel.

In response, Chairman Dick Brunson listened to the energetic speech but said the commission's job was to serve the entire community and their wishes. People don't mind planning and zoning so much as they mind the idea of land regulations, said Brunson. The community wants less-intrusive government, and it is the commission's purpose to draft a living document that reflects what the people want now and 10-20 years from now.

"(It's) better to propose a plan they want that is successful than propose a plan of mine or yours that loses, and we're back with nothing," said Brunson.

Brunson was joined by Billy Moore in his address to the commission. Both men spoke of goals and objectives they had heard the audience request during the public forums, their lists joining the six others of individual commission members. The lists will now be compiled into a master document for study and discussion by the commission.

Moore's goals for the commission included ensuring everyone in the county had water, enforcing regulations already in place and cleaning up the county's solid waste with a comprehensive plan.

"We've got a solid waste problem that's been here 30 years, and it's grown over 30 years. It's going to take some time to identify all the problems," said John Dixson.

Maintaining cleaner water and land was a major goal on his list, said Brunson. Some of his ideas also included ensuring adequate and safe housing for everyone in the county, enforcing building codes, attracting economical development and providing recreational areas for families and children.

But these are just his part of a larger whole of goals discussed by the commission m members during the past several meetings, said Brunson. The commission still has a long way to go in drafting a plan that will protect the county's future through the next several decades.

The commission is "responsible to look at the next generation, not the next election," said Brunson.

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