Challenges of growth in county

Published 12:00 pm Saturday, June 24, 2017

Lafayette County had a whiff of Oxford circa 2006 this week when talk surfaced of a building moratorium.

It occurred when supervisor Kevin Frye proposed that Lafayette County imposes a 90-day moratorium on new developments. Frye’s logic, which is sound, is that since the county is waiting on delivery of a comprehensive plan and zoning map for consideration it may be prudent to stop approving any new developments until some guideposts are in place.

Projects already approved would not be delayed, yet no other county supervisors agreed that a moratorium is the solution.

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Board president Jeff Busby’s response, also sound, is that supervisors don’t need a moratorium to stop proposed projects. If supervisors want, he reminded, they can turn down any plan.

Talk of a development moratorium harkens back to 2006 because that’s when then-Mayor Richard Howorth successfully got the Oxford Board of Alderman to implement a momentary development moratorium during a building boom so the city could get better prepared.

Oxford is once again under heavy development pressure but it now has more regulations and updated zoning in place. Lafayette County, on the other hand, is in the infancy of regulating development at the same time development is exploding.

Because of strong schools and more affordable land options, the county is now a hot spot like Oxford became in 2006. Thus, supervisors are challenged to manage it all, and it is coming hot and fast.

Both Frye and Busby have shown strong leadership as county leaders and we appreciate forward progress as the county moves toward a comprehensive plan and zoning.

We hope, however, that the larger board will not be afraid to say no when necessary to any projects that could benefit from a comprehensive plan and zoning map.