Columbus to survey residents on proposed ETJ area

Published 2:45 pm Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Columbus has been discussing for some time establishing ETJ rights within approximately a one-mile radius of the town. Officials requested county commissioners to hold a public hearing on the issue in 2007 but were denied that request.

The town also recently requested Rep. David Guice and Sen. Tom Apodoca to sponsor a local bill for the town to have ETJ, but the legislators responded that there are other local avenues the town can pursue in order to obtain ETJ rights.

Columbus Town Council&bsp; reviewed last Thursday a map of the potential area for ETJ (see map at right). The town&squo;s plan is to send out surveys and, depending on responses, hold a public hearing on the issue later this year.

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Town officials said last week responses to the surveys will help determine what areas outside the town limits Columbus could zone. Columbus officials have said that it makes more sense for the areas just outside town to have town zoning instead of county zoning because the town&squo;s zoning is focused on more dense, urban development and the county zoning is focused more on rural development.

Columbus and Saluda both have attempted to gain ETJ rights over the past several years but have been unsuccessful. Saluda joined in Columbus&squo; request for a local bill to the state recently. The Town of Tryon is the only town in Polk County that has ETJ rights.