What do you see as the responsibilities of the Planning Commission?
The responsibilities, as required by state law, are conducting studies and analysis of trends, doing future planning, recommending changes to the zoning ordinance, reviewing permit applications for compliance with the comprehensive plan, and preparing the comp plan for approval.
The comprehensive plan is the heart of the zoning ordinance. It’s from whence the zoning comes. The commission is charged with reviewing the plan and updating it as necessary, making sure it is in keeping with the goals of the county. The plan is a living document — it’s not meant to be static. We need to be able to adapt without risking our zoning.
It’s an advisory board to the supervisors. The planners review the comprehensive plan and zoning ordinances amendments brought forth by the supervisors. In my mind it’s not the job of the Planning Commission to bring forward ordinance changes. That’s the job of the supervisors and the county attorney. Quite often the ordinance needs to be amended because things have changed in Richmond.
The commission is supposed to review the ordinance and make sure that permit applications comply. It’s not whether you like the person or not, it’s whether what they want to do is covered by the ordinance and fits into the comp plan.