County Commissioners pass motion to recommend appeal of zoning plan

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After hearing the sentiments of a crowd of Switzerland County residents, the Switzerland County Commissioners on Monday night officially began the process of repealing all portions of the comprehensive plan that have been passed up to this point.

Evelina Brown again spoke to the commissioners on behalf of the residents in attendance, and the feeling of the audience was that the commissioners need to repeal all aspects of the new planning and zoning ordinances and begin the process from scratch.

The audience wanted to know what the commissioners’ position was going to be as everything moves forward.

After discussion of the issues involved, county attorney Wil Goering read a resolution for the commissioners to consider. That resolution read:

“Whereas the Switzerland County Board of Commissioners with to replace the 2008 Area Comprehensive Plan with the 1996 Area Comprehensive Plan. Resolution:

“Whereas the Switzerland County Board of Commissioners wish to repeal titles four and five of the Switzerland County Unified Development and Property Standards Subcode.

“Now therefore:

“The Switzerland County Board of Commissioners request that the Switzerland County Planning Commission, after a public hearing, issue a recommendation to the Switzerland County Board of Commissioners, the Vevay Town Board, and the Patriot Town Board to repeal titles four and five of the Switzerland County Unified Development and Property Standards Subcode.

“And that the Planning Commission engage the community in a process to develop a new Area Comprehensive Plan that will replace the 1996 Area Comprehensive Plan Resolution.”

This resolution was passed with a motion by Commissioner Craig Bond and a second from Commissioner K.C. Banta, with Commissioner Brian Morton agreeing.

With the passing of the resolution, the matter now moves back to the Planning Commission, which will consider the Commissioners’ resolution at its next meeting, which will be held on Wednesday, April 21st, at 6 p.m. in the courtroom of the Switzerland County Courthouse.

(The notice of public hearing is found in the public notice section of today’s classified pages of the Vevay Newspapers.)

If, as expected, the Planning Commission passes the resolution, its recommendation will then go back to the three governmental bodies: the County Commissioners, the Vevay Town Council, and the Patriot Town Council, which will all have to act to officially repeal the measures.

Once all three units have passed the measure, the 2008 plan will be repealed and county planning and zoning will revert back to the last adopted plan, which was in 1996 – and the process of writing and adopting a new comprehensive zoning plan will begin again.

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In other business discussed by the commissioners:

– Brian Morton requested a motion to transfer Mitch Barnes from county jailer to courthouse custodian. K.C. Banta made the motion, Craig Bond seconded and all agreed.

Mitch Barnes replaces George Harlow, and will be on a 90-day probation as he begins his new position.

– The county will provide dumpsters April 16th-18th at the county garage as a part of the countywide cleanup. These dates correspond with the cleanup for the Town of Vevay.

– In the highway department report: Will Hutchinson spoke about the process for tractor bids and specifications that need to be included in advertisements. He also discussed the hiring of temporary mowers for the summer; and told the commissioners that a salt storage building can be paid for out of the Cumulative Cap Fund.

Will Hutchinson and Roger Satterfield have attended the CPR class in Greenfield; and school bus turn arounds and a bridge at Plum Creek and Mary Lamb Road was discussed.

– Carolyn Miller of the Cemetery Commission presented the commissioners with a report on the commission’s activities during 2009. She also asked the commissioners to make to make two replacements to the board: Shila Geyman of Pleasant Township to replace Dorothy Burley, and Lewis Fritter of York Township to replace Scott Gregory. These recommendations were approved.

Fundraising and cemetery restoration was discussed. The commissioners approved adding an additional $6,000 to the fund.

- Bert Allen of the Switzerland County Salvation Army distributed information about the activities and expenses of his organization for 2009; and described the assistance that this organization has provided for the citizens of Switzerland County.

He asked for more county funding, and the commissioners told him that although they appreciated the Salvation Army’s work, he would have to go to the county council if he was requesting funding.

– Louis Bullock distributed information and spoke about the need for electrical licensing requirements here. He told the commissioners that he has seen poor electrical work in buildings here in the county. Information will be gathered from surrounding counties about their requirements.

– All elected officials will be added to the county’s insurance coverage.

– Brian Morton will speak with the sheriff with regard to prohibiting firearms in county buildings, with the exception of law enforcement officers.

– The commissioners approved a plan for Brack Rayles to develop a website for the county.

– County auditor Rachel Schuler told the commissioners that she has moved $60,000 into the commissioners fund to be used for computer maintenance.

– A bid by Kenny Adams to mow the Health Department lawn was approved.