• 73°

Supervisors want public to ask questions about proposed zoning ordinance

At the final public hearing before the Lafayette County Board of Supervisors are expected to vote on whether to implement zoning in the county, only one person took the podium to ask questions about a particular development.

No one else spoke out in favor for or against the proposed changes.

Mike Slaughter, of Slaughter and Associates, the planning group hired to develop the zoning ordinance, said 95 percent of the feedback he’s received at the numerous public hearings held on the matter has been positive.

“When people came to the meetings and asked questions – ‘What can we do? What can’t we do?’ most said ‘I really like this. I’m for this.'”

Small public meetings were held throughout the county in each of the five districts over the last few months, along with a handful of larger public hearings. During a public hearing before the Planning Commission last week no one protested the proposed ordinance.

However, Supervisor Chad McLarty wants the public to know it’s not too late to ask questions or express concerns.

“Any citizen who wasn’t able to attend a public meeting is welcome to contact any one of us,” he said at the meeting. “Our phone numbers and emails are on the county website (www.lafayettems.com). This is coming up for a vote in two weeks and I want the citizens to understand what’s going on.”

The zoning ordinance divides the county into zoning groups, that have the most restrictions closest to Oxford city limits, and fewer restrictions in the more rural areas of the county. The districts would include: Agricultural, Rural Community Preservation District, Residential Estate, Residential Low-, Medium- and High-Density districts, Planned Unit Developments for mixed-use developments, Commercial Low, Medium and High districts, Industrial – light and heavy districts and Special Use districts.

The one comment during the meeting came from Brad Pugh, representing the Oxford Springs development. A master plan for the massive development on 2,600 acres near Abbeville was approved in May; however, Pugh said developers were concerned the zoning ordinance has the area zoned as Agricultural when the master plan shows several different proposed types of development, including a town center, homes, condominiums, apartments and other uses.

The area is noted as a Rural Development on the newly approved Land Use Map.

Supervisors said it wouldn’t make sense to zone each area inside Oxford Springs to match the proposed master plan map until a complete planned unit development plan was presented and approved. Once the PUD is approved, the developer can apply to have the zoning changed.

In other business Monday, the board:

  • Tabled a discussion on whether to close Wilkes Avenue to College Hill Road in Twelve Oaks subdivision after Supervisor David Rikard told the board the developer was dealing with health issues.
  • Approved a variance for a 6-inch waterline for fire protection and the preliminary and final plat for the new N. Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church
  • Approved a variance for setback requirements and the preliminary and final commercial plat for Pumpkin Creek Verizon Cell Tower
  • Approved a variance request to use alternative fire protection of dry well and pond for North Grove Equestrian Park
  • Approved preliminary and final commercial plat for North Grove Equestrian Park
  • Approved preliminary and final commercial plat for Magnolia Office building
  • Approved the preliminary and final commercial plat for Comer Building addition
  • Tabled the request to approve the preliminary subdivision plat for Woodson Ridge Phase II at the developer’s request to allow more time for a traffic study to be completed.
  • Approved a plat amendment to the The Heights Phase 3 plat.
  • Approved the preliminary commercial plat for Callery Spa.
  • Approved the preliminary commercial plat for Oxford RV Park
  • Approved the preliminary commercial plat for Burns United Methodist Church.