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May 8, 2008 meeting minutes

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Report 10 of the OC/CIC meeting of May 8,2008
Approximately 53 citizens signed in for the meeting which again took place
in the Commissioners’ room of the government annex in Brookville. After
prayer & the pledge to the American Flag Chairman White opened the
meeting at 7PM. The minutes and treasurer’s reports were given and
discussion then began on Chapter 4 of the Comprehensive Plan. A pamphlet
entitled “Understanding Property Rights” from the National Trust for
Historic Preservation was made available to all present.
There was discussion of how to finance any further expenditures for the
process we are in and it was decided that the Commissioners would continue
to pay for expenses incurred until they tell us they cannot. Communications
so far have been the expense. By mouth is the best way to get your family,
friends and neighbors informed and involved.
Moving on to the discussion of Chapter 4, Ruthie Mannix presented a
summary that reflected the issue of the use of the highest projections on
the graphs instead a a median, clarified what some of the initials used
stand for, that the housing presumed to allow 1 acre per household with
variations, that the numbers need to be updated but they do not have a
negative impact on the plan, and that residential growth has had the
most impact. Also that the last paragraph of the chapter had the most
significance.
Further comments made were; no critical errors in Ch. 4, that the
projections were wrong by 50-60%, questioning of why the higher
projections were accepted, projections 10 years ago were based on the
number of permits issued then and no one could predict $4.oo/gal. of
gas, it is too late to plan for growth after it happens, suggestion to use
2/3 of highest projections, rural character has been discussed over &
over, the graphs should reflect the past 50 years and extrapolate ahead
only 10 years instead of 25, the county wants jobs but not a lot of
population growth, does the county want all that goes along with job
creation, off-shoot businesses more likely here in the county rather than
a large plant & its effects, the price of gas now affects what happens in
our county, there will be more decentralization due to the high gas
prices, we are behind in our tax base, REX will damage our roads if it
goes through, we should ask questions of the companies regarding their
requirements such as roads & access, marginal land could be made
attractive with a nice road eg; BrookHill, the chapter projections are a
“shot in the dark”, the projections are not appropriate, we should
insert a note of what has happened thus far rather than making a
change, tourism was not looked at & Brookville Lake is a “gift” to Ohio,
we should do a narrative of the numbers then versus 2006, we should
have more current info but not obligate tax dollars to receive the info,
there should be more verbiage about the impact of tourism & future
impact.
It was decided to accept chapter 4 as is but to ask the Commissioners
for updated statistics.
Chapter 5 discussion was begun by Brian Patterson with a focus on
Economic Development on pg. 67. Mr. Ed Derickson distributed color
land use maps to all present to aid in the discussion. Points made were;
limited interstate access limits Ec. Developm’t, most Ec.Dev. has been
in the building trades for residences, there is a great need for Franklin
Co. data, in reading this chapter it seems that zoning followed supply &
demand, should people who live near the acres zoned industrial have
any say in the placing of an industrial park?, the prior statement should
be in the Ec. Dev. Goals, we are not changing the Comprehensive plan,
just making suggestions of what the people want, the second paragraph
on pg. 67 is the reason for Ec. Dev., young professionals leave the county
for jobs but now due to the internet can return to this county for jobs,
an air park would enhance our county’s ability to attract more
busninesses, that we are lacking in vision of what it takes to bring in
small business, consider fiberoptic investment and other incentives,
develop an air park similar to Blue Ash in Ohio and Connersville, In.,
we need to define “incentives”, define advantages of cluster
subdivisions, and finally that someone is playing Monopoly with
someone else’s money, that government has no business buying private
property, that supply & demand has worked in this country so far,
there is no such thing as free money & if we don’t spend it wisely we
won’t get more, there is more to economic development than industry,
perhaps more tourism, some folks think Honda is the best thing that
has happened, response to that was that Honda WANTED to be there,
the land was not purchased by government for them and that big
business knows more about our county than we do.
Notes on CIC/OC meeting 4.24.08 These notes are the thoughts of Mr. Gary Rieveschl.
Small group discussion of Chapter 5
———————————–
It eventually became clear to the group that a discussion of Chapter 5 would
best be engaged after everyone had introduced themselves to the group and
shared their particular personal concerns about its contents. This occupied
the group productively for most of the meeting. The remaining time was spent
reviewing the several sections of ³Goal² statements in Chapter 5 with the
aim of better understanding them.
At meeting¹s end, the consensus of the group was that the Goals regarding
Future Land Use as outlined in the Comprehensive Plan are largely
supportable, even though further clarification and characterization would be
welcome in many places, especially with respect to the Land Use Map. It was
noted that the copy of the Map we were working from was a ³draft².
It was felt by many in the group that while the Goals were useful as
generalizations, the derivation of zoning ordinances based on those Goals
would not necessarily follow with ease.
It was also agreed that members of the group would each prepare lists of
those things they agreed and disagreed with in Chapter 5 and that these
lists would be shared with other members of the group.
My comments on Chapter 5 are as follows:
—————————————-
I heartily agree with the underlying principles of land use management
outlined in this chapter.
Poorly managed growth and development of such a finite and limited resource
as land will adversely affect the character of the whole community as well
as the tax rates for property owners. Even if the financial impact of
mismanagement can be kept to a quantitative minimum, the qualitative impact
on services will be felt across the community, not to speak of the
degradation of the character of the community and individual property
values.
We would do well to remember that not everyone in the county is a property
owner and that property owners have a responsibility to everyone in the
county, not just themselves and other property owners, to respect the rights
of the community implicit in the common welfare. That is the real common
sense and has been since the founding of the nation right along with the
individual rights of citizenship we defend and hold so dear. Our
Constitution begins with the words ³We the People², not ³We the Property
Owners².
It is the successful balance of individuality and community that makes our
country great and should be our shared goal in this process.
I think the beginning of the chapter clearly describes this need for a
balanced approach to planning, while acknowledging that property owners have
rights that must be respected. My concern is that the rights of the
community as a whole that provide the rationale for balance are
insufficiently described and need to be more completely outlined in the
text.
Nonetheless, the statement of Land Use Goals on page 60 is workable.
I do however question the inferred use of ³impact payments² as a management
mechanism referred to in Goal #2. Also, the word ³relationship² as it
appears in the first two bullet points of Goal #3 needs to be further
characterized with the word ³compatible². How the concept of compatibility
is defined and applied for each use will require further consensus, but that
fact does not disqualify its importance as part of the Goals.
One of the most misunderstood parts of this chapter is the Future Land Use
Map. I would direct your attention to the paragraph that spans the bottom of
page 60 and the top of page 61. The words ³most appropriate² are highlighted
because they are the key to understanding the purpose of the map as a
planning tool. While compatibility may be a somewhat more subjective
concept, ³appropriateness² as derived from the demonstrable facts of
transportation, utilities, soil conditions, slope, floodplain and market
preference is not. This map is a guide to visualizing the collective shape
of the those real influences on the county and thereby a useful aid in the
much more daunting task of drawing actual zoning maps which will be legally
binding. This Future Land Use Map does not describe what can or cannot be
done in a particular location, it delineates areas where one sort of land
management strategy or another would be most appropriately applied in
designing zoning regulations.
Like much of the data in the first chapters of the Plan the underlying facts
of the Map and the consensus that created it may need to be revisited and
updated, but I find it to be a basically sound picture and good guide.
Agriculture
———–
Given the rural character of the county and its farming heritage, the
development of agricultural land is especially important to the overall
Plan. This Plan recognizes that increasing population pressure on the County
makes the development of agricultural land certain and raises the question
not of ³if², but ³how²? Again, the concepts of compatibility and balance are
properly cited as a touchstones.
I am concerned about the use of the word ³incentives² in Goal #1 on page 62.
The specific nature of such incentives needs to be described in the text.
Also, further clarification of the distinction between the management
approaches to prime agricultural land (presumably A-1) and so-called
³undeveloped² land (presumably A-2) would help to reduce current levels of
confusion about the application of recommended policies.
Residential
———–
While I largely agree with the goals outlined for this section, I think a
more detailed description and examples of the ³regulations and incentives²
described in Goal # 3 on page 64 would be helpful.
The recommended application of cluster subdivision requirements is probably
the least well understood aspect of this section. The Plan could do more to
describe the advantages of this approach especially from the perspective of
the individual property owner seeking to divide and develop their land.
While creating potential profit limitations for professional developers and
other real estate interests, there may well be advantages for the property
owner that need to be clearly described in the Plan. This topic needs
further objective and less emotional study by this group.
Economic Development
——————–
The cost/benefit calculation of economic development to the County¹s
residents and property owner, as it is reflected in their tax rates and the
delivery of County services, needs to be updated beyond the 1991 reference
cited in the text. More recent studies may well present an even more
compelling calculus.
I am not aware of the historical relationship between this Plan and the
existing County Economic Development Corporation, but, to the extent a
relationship now exists, it needs to included in the text.
The Goals described in this section largely make sense to me. I am
especially supportive of #5 on page 69 that describes the adaptive re-use of
existing structures because I believe the widespread desire to preserve the
rural character of the County will tend to favor small business over large
scale commercial enterprise or industry and adaptive re-use obviates the
need for additional structures.
Rural Character
————–
For me, this is the most important section in the chapter. The rural
character of Franklin County and the quality of life advantages it provides
are the reason I moved here six years ago. I am here tonight because I
believe that sensible planning is the only way to preserve that rural
character against the inevitable pressures of future growth.
I particularly support Goal # 6 on page 74. Although I am not sure if
cluster sub-divisions as mentioned in Goal # 5 are the only and best design
option for siting new structures, it is certainly true that encouraging
policies that limit curb-cuts and strip-siting will go a long way toward
maintaining the rural character of the County we all cherish.
Failure to plan wisely is not an option.
The next meeting is Thursday , May 15,2008 at 7PM in the
Commissioner’s room at the government annex in Brookville,

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