Planning Board to discuss objectives|Bypass corridor, growth could be topics of interest

Published 9:01 am Sunday, July 26, 2009

Contributing Editor

When the Washington Planning Board meets Tuesday, its members are expected to discuss the board’s long-term objectives.
Dot Moate, chairwoman of the board, said no one particular issue or group of issues is behind the scheduled discussion.
“That’s the best way to describe it, a brain-storming session,” Moate said.
“We’ve talked about in the past about setting some objectives for the coming year,” Moate said.
John Rodman, acting director of planning and development for the city, agrees that the discussion is not rooted in anything “in particular.”
“The Planning Board feels, right now, it’s sort of stagnant,” Rodman said.
The board wants to revisit issues such as the U.S. Highway 17 bypass corridor, development and greenways, Rodman said.
“The board wants to refocus its attention on some things,” Rodman said.
In the past 20 months, the board has dealt with development of a harbor-management plan, height restrictions for downtown buildings, public restrooms for the downtown/waterfront area and a proposed trapeze school in the city, not to mention requests for rezoning properties and reviewing proposed development plans.
Although the meeting may include discussion on some issues the board has not resolved, such as what to do with displays racks for free publications such as real-estate magazines and newspapers, Moate is not sure what items will surface during the discussion.
“That may be one of the topics we discuss,” Moate said. “I have no idea what may come up.”
The city is taking a preliminary look at what to do with those racks or boxes that display newspapers, real-estate magazines and other publications, free or charged, on public property, especially downtown sidewalks.
In addition to looking at newsracks and display boxes containing free publications such as real estate magazines, a board subcommittee is looking at items such as free-standing signs (also known as sandwich boards), large flower pots and bicycle racks.
In other business, the board is scheduled to consider a request from O’Reilly Automotive to rezone approximately 0.093 acres of property located at 519 W. Seventh St. ( behind King Chicken) from R-6S (residential) to B-2 (general business).
The board also is expected to consider a request from Jarvis Consulting Inc. for a preliminary subdivision review of the proposed Mixon-Sawyer subdivision on Dan Taylor Road.
The board also is expected to discuss a bike path as part of the local Rails to Trails initiative.
The board meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Council Chamber of the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St.