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Council opposes planning proposal

Posted on Thursday, July 13, 2017 at 9:40 am

A proposal by Montross Councilman Larry Wheaton was previously perceived as mistrust by the planning commission. Despite Wheaton’s apology and attempts to convince the council there was only a desire to “encourage the Council to assume a leadership role in the approval process of Plans of Development,” the council voted against his proposed code changes.
During the June 27, Montross Town Council meeting, Mayor Joey King asked Wheaton to give a brief description of his proposal sent to the planning commission in April.
Wheaton said, “My proposal was to revise chapter 66 to include the town council as the final approval authority for any planned development.”
Currently town code requires only the planning commission and zoning administrator’s approval for all plans of development. A plan of development is submitted in cases for large developments such as housing complexes, apartments, subdivisions, condo’s or shopping plazas etc.
The only time a plan of development is reviewed by the council in these types of development is when a change of zoning is requested.
Wheaton’s proposal is to change the language of the code to include council review and approval for all plans of development.
The planning commission looked at the proposed changes at their May 16 meeting, where it was discussed and perceived by some members to be a sign of distrust by Wheaton.
Town Manager Patricia Lewis read the recommendation from the planning commission from the May 16 meeting minutes, “Mr. Greene, seconded by Mr. Branson, made a motion that the documentation that the Commission received from Mr. Wheaton would place an unnecessary burden on the Town Council and also would restrict the activities of the Planning Commission that it seeks to serve the citizens of our town and that the Town Code stay in it’s present form. The motion carried. Mr. Reamy opposed.”

Read more of this story in the July 12 issue of the Westmoreland News.