Columbus ends moratorium on new, major subdivisions

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Hall and McCallister said they would rather the moratorium end as scheduled next month. They said they don&squo;t see anything happening over the next couple of weeks and the moratorium could just end on its own in January. Gage, Metcalf and McCallister said they feel like the town has accomplished all it set out to accomplish in the almost eight months since the moratorium began and they see no reason not to end it. Columbus enacted the moratorium last year for major subdivisions so it would have time to create stricter ordinances governing development. The town has approved several new ordinances and amendments to other ordinances, including three new changes approved last month. Council decided against enacting a new tree cutting ordinance last Thursday but did approve amendments to its mountain and hillside development ordinance, an amendment to its master plan approval section and amended its sedimentation and erosion control ordinance.

The town&squo;s planning board has been meeting extensively over the past year to recommend new ordinances and amendments to existing ordinances.

The planning board has invited experts to speak at meetings in order to learn about&bsp; issues such as water sustainability and erosion.

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The town imposed the moratorium just as the developer of Foster Creek, a proposed subdivision of about 1,000 acres between Columbus and Mill Spring, was about to submit its master plan.

Foster Creek agreed to hold off on submitting plans and to work with the town in developing new ordinances.&bsp; It is unknown when Foster Creek will submit its master plan to the town now that the moratorium has ended. The latest plans&bsp; for Foster Creek included approximately 750 homesites on the land off Houston Road.