Tag Archives: Zoning

Normal Planning Commissioners earn their pay

Actually, they don’t receive any pay, but they sure deserved some Thursday evening after spending three full hours listening to Town staff, developers, and the public while weighing the pros and cons on a couple of major zoning matters.

There’s something about the atmosphere of a planning commission meeting that irresistable for a local government junkie like myself. 

It’s raw and people wear their emotions on their sleeves.   There’s always a lot at stake in any zoning hearing.   It’s democracy at its finest.

As an elected official, it’s beneficial to witness it.  

There are things I see at planning commission meetings that, well, don’t ever show up in the minutes: the strength of the arguments, the passion, and the subtleties that someone who has spent more than two decades observing and participating in local government can pick up. 

Planning Commission chair Rick Boser does an outstanding job of maintaining decorum and a sharp sense of humor throughout the proceedings.   I enjoyed watching him run the meeting from the back row of the council chambers.   Rick is an experienced hand on the planning commission and it shows.

Sometimes, it’s a challenge to get the witnesses to stay on the subject matter, or even to face the right direction.   

Planning commissioners Jeff Feid, Kathleen Lorenz, Jill Hutchison, R.C. McBride, Michael McFarland, and Bob Bradley don’t get a lot of recognition, but I appreciate the work they do.    It’s not an easy job, but somebody’s got to do it.    And our community is better off because these quality volunteers have stepped up to do a thankless job.  

Thank you Planning Commission.

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Filed under planning, Uncategorized, Zoning

Normal’s zoning map will be changed to provide a complete picture of potential land uses

At Monday night’s council meeting, my suggestion to revise the official Town zoning map to reflect zoning flexibility in annexation agreements was adopted by common consent.   

The recent proposed rezoning in Eagles Landing brought the problem to light.   Some annexation agreements give the property owner the right to choose another zoning to reflect market conditions.   The Eagles Landing landowner sought to rezone from B-1 to R-3A.  

The information about which parcels carry this zoning flexibility was not reflected on any zoning map.   They are located in Eagles Landing, the Vineyards, the Trails at Sunset Lake, North Bridge, and Kelley Glen.

So the next zoning map will show which properties could be rezoned at the request of the owner and what those potential zoning classifications are.   It means when a prospective homebuyer looks at the zoning of nearby undeveloped land, they will get a complete picture in terms of possible land uses.

I also suggested that the Town ought to stop negotiating annexation agreements that provide this landowner flexiblity unless the optional zoning is for a lower density.    I’ll keep you updated.

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Filed under Development, Zoning