Hard work to protect county ignored

Published 6:45pm Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Murmurs of surprise left the mouths of several citizens in the audience Monday night as the Polk County Board of Commissioners allowed a proposed steep slopes ordinance to die despite unanimous support from the Polk County Planning Board.

While we were not surprised by the move, we were perplexed by it.

With one moment of silence four commission members squashed almost a decade of work by the Polk County Vision Committee, Unified Development Ordinance committee and Polk County Planning Board to protect the county’s mountainsides and ridgelines.

If nothing else, they made null and void the 45 days of hard work planning board members put into creating an ordinance that would not hamper development but also wouldn’t leave our beautiful area vulnerable to the potential for poor development.

Commissioner Ray Gasperson moved to approve the Steep Slopes Ordinance recommended by the planning board. By the tone of those citizens who spoke during the public hearing at Monday’s meeting this was the preferred decision.

Yet, all the voices of those who spoke were ignored.

The planning board, a group of seven people who took on the responsibility of meeting with experts and carefully considering the county’s options with relation to construction on steep slopes, was ignored. 

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