Polk seeking volunteers for boards

Published 8:00 am Thursday, January 10, 2019

Board of adjustment, planning board need immediate members

COLUMBUS — Polk County officials are asking for the public’s help in filling members for volunteer boards, particularly its board of adjustment and planning boards.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and heard from County Manager Marche Pittman during his manager’s report.

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“We have 28 volunteer boards, and two we have an issue with right now,” Pittman said.

Pittman said the board of adjustment is one that the county is having an issue with having enough volunteers to get a quorum to hear a case.

“We do need help from the public,” Pittman said.

Polk County’s Board of Adjustment hears and decides conditional use permits, requests for variances, applications for vested rights and appeals decisions of administrative officials charged with enforcement of applicable county ordinances.

The board currently consists of five or more regular members and three alternate members, with the county striving to have at least one resident of each of the designated zoning areas. Members of the board serve for three-year terms and must reside in a zoned area of the county, which includes the townships of Columbus, Tryon, Saluda and Green Creek.

Meetings are normally scheduled for 4 p.m. on the first Tuesday of the month when there is business or hearings to be heard.

Pittman said he will be bringing back some recommendations to commissioners to make it a little easier to have a quorum, including asking to allow more alternates.

County Attorney Jana Berg said having enough members is especially important on the board of adjustment, as it is a quasi-judicial board and there is some training required.

“I feel like it’s a fairly urgent matter,” Berg said.

County Chair Tommy Melton said the board of adjustment is a very responsible position and the county really needs some volunteers.

Anyone who is interested in being a member of the board of adjustment or any other county board should visit the county manager’s office at the Womack building in Columbus or call 828-894-3301. Information about the county’s volunteer boards can be found at polknc.org.