By now we all know the county commissioners voted 3-2 against the planning board's recommendation and will implement county wide zone as soon as possible.
I admit to being a little naive in that I truly believed the commissioners would listen to the ground swell of those opposed to one size fits all zoning and work with the residents to arrive at a compromise. I thought even if they didn't listen to residents, they would listen to the recommendations of the agri-business association, ag advisory committee, the planning board, farm bureau, and others.
During the discussion, commissioners Howard, Hales, admitted they made the decision to implement county wide zoning in 2014. They stressed they were elected to do that. I support elected officials keeping promises but that isn't really what they said they would do (at least publicly). I paid pretty close attention to all the candidates during that campaign. They said they would establish a comprehensive land use plan and zone accordingly in a well thought out manner. This is not a well thought out manner.
I was accused of being cynical and spreading "hate" when I suggested the commissioners cancelled the community meetings in order to get a predetermined outcome from the planning board. I suggested they were promising to follow the planning board only because they knew the outcome. When the planning board did not provide the expected recommendation, I felt maybe they would change their mind.
But with the admission from Karen and Diana that they had made up their minds long before the planning board started its work, we now know it was just political theater.
Karen lectured the more than 100 residents at Monday's BOC meeting about elections and consequences. She told us they won the election and we just needed to live with it. Jim Crawford added we just need to get over it. He also left us with the ominous warning that this was just the first step in making Chatham a "modern county".
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