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Lafayette County Board of Supervisors hold last public meeting on Comp Plan before expected vote

The new Comprehensive Plan could be adopted for Lafayette County in less than a month’s time after more than a year of meetings and work done to update the current plan.

A public hearing was held Monday during the Lafayette County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. More than 35 public meetings have been held in the last year in several areas around the county and during Planning Commission and Board of Supervisor meetings.

“We have held numerous meetings, initially with department heads and county officials, the (Oxford-Lafayette) Chamber of Commerce, even city officials,” said Mike Slaughter, with Slaughter and Associates urban planning group, who was hired to update the county’s Comp Plan that was last updated in 2008. “After that, we had numerous public meetings throughout the county in all corners of the county and they were very productive meetings. We gained a lot of input.”

As stated in the proposed Comp Plan document, a Comprehensive Plan is used by cities and counties to establish a future vision for the community, to anticipate future growth and development, and to strategize decisions and resources in response to this growth.

The goals and objectives of the comprehensive plan focus on a future land use plan, a transportation plan and a community facilities plan.

“This is not the Mike Slaughter plan, nor the Board of Supervisor’s plan, but the community’s plan,” Slaughter said Monday.

Several large versions of the future land use map were set up for people to view during the meeting while the board left the room to meet in executive session on an unrelated matter.

Before the supervisors left, Board President Jeff Busby asked if anyone at the meeting had any questions.

Local forester Rickey Harwell was the only one to walk up to the podium. He said he was concerned about language describing the county’s goal to pave all county roads with asphalt.

“If you get new roads, we aren’t allowed to use the routes and we get rerouted,” Harwell said, of large agricultural trucks. “You need to make the road so they’ll hold logging trucks and other agricultural trucks.”

Harwell also asked for clarification about septic tanks, saying the new Comp Plan made it sound as if they would no longer be allowed.

Slaughter said the plan says the soil in Lafayette County is not conducive for septic tanks but it will be up to the Mississippi Department of Health to approve the use of a septic tank, as it currently does.

When the supervisors returned, Slaughter said he received three comments and suggestions from a handful of people who viewed the maps.

The board is expected to vote on the Comprehensive Plan during its next regular meeting on Nov. 6 at 5 p.m.

The proposed Comprehensive Plan can be read on the county’s website at www.lafayettems.com.

In other business Monday, the board:

  • Approved a request from the Oxford Parking Advisory Commission to use county property located west of the Lafayette County Detention Center for parking during the construction of the downtown parking garage that’s expected to begin in January.
  • Approved a request for a bond reduction on Letter of Credit for Pebble Creek subdivision, phase 1
  • Approved spending $635,181 on paving roads, to be split equally among the five districts. The money comes from the county’s $20 million investment from the sale of Baptist Memorial Hospital in 2012.