Polk County begins work on comprehensive land use plan

Published 1:40 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

Polk County officials are beginning work on a comprehensive land use plan this month after recently hiring a consultant.

The county last month approved hiring Dale Holland from the Holland Consulting Planners, Inc. and Justin Hembree from Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates for a fee not to exceed $90,860.

Consultants were scheduled this week to meet with the county comprehensive plan subcommittee, which consists of Joe Epley, Marshall Monroe, Polk County Planner Cathy Ruth and county commissioners Tommy Melton and Tom Pack. Once by-laws are received, expected around the middle of this month, the county&squo;s comprehensive plan advisory committee will meet.

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The advisory committee was recently established with 18 members and alternates. The committee has one member and one alternate from each of the county&squo;s six townships and each of its three towns.

Sometime later this month an informational meeting with the board of commissioners and the advisory group is planned. From November through March the committee is scheduled to research background information, analyze data and hold monthly meetings. From April until August the schedule is to assess future demands and develop plans for future land use. Sometime in April, the plan is to hold two informational meetings and present preliminary findings.

In September the draft plan is scheduled to be presented with two open house meetings also planned. Then next October and November the draft plan will be presented to the Polk County Planning Board.

Next December and January, a public hearing is expected to be held and the final presentation to the board of commissioners is planned.

The total process should take between 12 and 18 months, county officials have said. Consultants may also be asked to create a comprehensive water plan during the same time frame as the land use plan, as county commissioners have recently discussed.

The advisory committee appointed last month includes:

Columbus Township

Evangelena Barber (member)

Dave Herbert (alternate)

Coopers Gap Township

Roger Odel (member)

Bob Strickland (alternate)

Green Creek Township

Doug Harmon (member)

A.Y. Brown (alternate)

Saluda Township

Jim Carson (member)

Susan Welsh (alternate)

Tryon Township

Emily Clark (member)

Mark Byington (alternate)

White Oak Township

Ernest Giannini (member)

Christel Walter (alternate)

Town of Columbus

Maryneal Jones (member)

Kathleen Kent (alternate)

City of Saluda

Hal Green (member)

Henry Bright (alternate)

Town of Tryon

John Walters (member)

Katherine Smith (alternate)