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Washington County rezoning applications to require more documentation

January 09, 2008|By JOSHUA BOWMAN

Rezoning applications in Washington County will now have to include maps of the property, names of adjacent property owners and detailed reasons for the request under a measure approved unanimously Tuesday by the county commissioners.

Washington County Planning Director Michael C. Thompson said the change will allow the planning department to make recommendations about the rezoning at a public hearing. He also said it will give the public more information about proposed rezonings.

"Right now, if someone's interested in a rezoning case and they come (to the planning department) to look at the documents, there's really not a lot there," Thompson said.

The change to the county's zoning ordinance passed Tuesday requires "a written explanation of the reasons why the map amendment is sought, setting forth in sufficient detail to properly advise county officials as to the justifications for the amendment."

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It will also allow the planning department to reject incomplete applications or those that come in during comprehensive rezoning periods.

For example, the county is currently re-evaluating its urban growth area. If a rezoning request came in for a parcel of land in the growth area, the planning department would be able to reject it until the growth area rezoning is finished, Thompson said.

"It will prevent piecemeal rezoning and changes that are inconsistent with what we are trying to achieve with the comprehensive work," Thompson said.

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