Comprehensive land use plan passes with mayoral vote, 3-2

Published 1:12 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023

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A vote by Mayor Donald Sadler passed the Comprehensive/CAMA Land Use Plan for the City of Washington. Sadler voted because a split vote occurred between four members of council – Mayor Pro-Tem Richard Brooks and councilman Mike Renn were in favor, but councilmen William Pitt and Bobby Roberson were opposed. 

Councilwoman Lou Hodges was not present at the meeting. 

Council was initially, because the land use plan includes an idea to construct a commercial marina. The land use plan is a living document that steers city government and residents through Washington’s future as it grows and changes. City Manager Jonathan Russell described the plan as a “wish list” of items that could be part of Washington’s future, one of those items being a commercial marina. 

A commercial marina was part of a list of recommendations written by the city’s planning department for council’s review. The list noted that two people expressed their wishes to see the marina removed during a public hearing hosted by the planning department on May 23. 

The same area where a commercial marina would be constructed could instead be reserved for conservation, parks, open space or as environmentally constrained, the planning board noted. Whether to have a commercial marina or give an area an alternative purpose was left to council’s discretion. 

Their vote was to include a commercial marina as an option for the city’s future, not ruling the idea out. 

Sadler voted in favor of the land use plan noting the work that was done communicating the plan to the public and collecting their feedback. 

The CAMA (Coastal Area Management Act) Comprehensive Land Use Plan, also known as the Comprehensive Plan will provide clear direction for the next 25 years of Washington’s future. Its purpose is to balance natural resource conservation with economic development and city population. The plan is a required document by the Coastal Area Management Act. The plan took approximately one year to complete from writing drafts to its adoption by city council on Monday. The plan still requires CAMA certification. 

The plan can be viewed on the City of Washington’s website at: