MRPO public hearing tonight at commissioner’s meetingPublished 10:07am Monday, January 7, 2013
On the Polk County Board of Commissioner’s agenda for the Monday, Jan. 7 meeting is a public hearing to discuss replacing the Mountainside Ridgeline Protection Ordinance, (MRPO), with a steep slope ordinance recommended by the Polk County Planning Board.
The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at the Womack Building in Columbus.
Three out of five of the former Board of Commission members voted Oct. 1 to recommend that the planning board fully rescind the MRPO, which restricts development at elevations of 1,650 feet or above. Instead, planning board members took their allotted 45 days to devise another solution.
In an email to Save Our Slopes (SOS) members Jan. 3, planning board chair Lisa Krolak said the board wanted to ensure protections of some level were put in place to maintain the safety and beauty of Polk County mountains.
“The new ordinance is much more lenient than the original one, but it’s still crucial for the safety of home builders and their neighbors. The elevation of 1650 was removed as a trigger for implementing the requirements for building. The slope was increased from 25 percent to 30 percent slope and the geotechnical analysis report requirement was removed. The requirements are only triggered if the building envelope includes a 30 percent slope. The ordinance would be in effect in the zoned and unzoned townships,” Krolak explained.
Initial outrage over the MRPO’s elevation restrictions came from Saluda residents who said the 1,650 feet limit would prevent any development in Saluda township.