Council sets hearing on land-use plan

Published 12:07 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2007

By Staff
Revised policies much different than existing ones
Contributing Editor
Washington’s City Council, during its meeting at the Municipal Building on Monday, adopted a schedule for getting its land-use plan ready for submission to the state’s Coastal Resource Commission for review and approval.
The council scheduled a public hearing on the land-use plan for 6 p.m. Aug. 27. If approved by the council on that date, the plan will be sent to the Coastal Resources Commission for approval. The commission is scheduled to meet Sept. 27-28 to consider the plan and other commission business.
The draft plan calls for a sea change when it comes to mooring fields. The draft supports placing mooring fields in some of the city’s waterways. The existing land-use plan, required by the Coastal Area Management Act, does not support doing that.
The updated plan also reflects an increasing development demand on the city’s land, especially its waterfront areas, and addresses how that development should be handled, city officials said.
City Manager James C. Smith called the land-use plan “one of the most important documents to the citizens of this community.”
State law requires the city to conduct a public hearing on the draft of the revised land-use plan, which the Coastal Area Management Act requires the city to update at least every five years. CAMA applies to each of the 20 coastal counties and requires them to have land-use plans in accordance with guidelines established by the Coastal Resources Commission.
Land-use plans are used to help guide growth. They help local governments determine where growth should occur, decide what types of growth are appropriate for specific areas and provide strategies and policies that address the following management topics: public access, land-use compatibility, infrastructure carrying capacity, natural hazard areas, water quality and local areas of concern.
Dale Holland, principal with Holland Consulting Planners, is working with the city on the revised land-use plan. The draft has been reviewed by the N.C. Division of Coastal Management, which made several recommendations and changes that are reflected in the latest version of the draft, he said.
The revised plan includes the following elements:
For more coverage of the council’s meeting, see future editions.