Home News Local News ETZ Authority uses rare meeting to approve ordinance change

ETZ Authority uses rare meeting to approve ordinance change

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Lisa Dunlap Photo In its first meeting in 10 months, the Extraterritorial Zoning Authority approved an ordinance change. They also voted to name Robert Corn, right, a Chaves Commissioner, as chair, and Jeanine Corn Best, left, a Roswell city councilor, as vice chair. Chaves County Commissioner Will Cavin is seated in the middle. Not shown are the other two members, Roswell City Councilor George Peterson and Chaves County Commissioner James Duffey.

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With little discussion or fanfare, the Roswell-Chaves County Extraterritorial Zoning Authority decided Thursday night to change an ordinance regarding how decisions are made for properties in ETZ industrial districts.

The Authority, made up of five elected officials — three Chaves County commissioners and two Roswell city councilors —voted 5-0 to change Article 14 of Ordinance No. 80-1 governing industrial district properties within the ETZ. The ETZ covers county land within two miles of the city limits.

Prior to the vote, the ordinance had required that the ETZ Commission, which is made up of appointed county residents, approve the use of an industrial property every time the use changed, even if the change meant less impact on neighbors, the environment, traffic, roads or county and city services.

As explained by Chaves County Planning Director Marlin Johnson, the amended ordinance will mean that, once the ETZ Commission gives initial approval for the use of an industrial property, any later change that has an equal or less impact on neighbors can be approved solely by the county planning director, without needing to be heard by the commission. Appeals to the ETZ Authority would be possible if someone opposes the planning director’s decisions.

In some of his initial comments about the proposed change to other groups, Johnson said he was recommending the change to lessen “micromanagement.”

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The ETZ Commission recommended changing the ordinance on June 19.

Chaves County Commissioner James Duffey moved to approve the change “due to the fact that I believe in smaller government.” Roswell City Councilor Jeanine Corn Best seconded the motion.

The Chaves County Board of Commissioners approved a similar change to county zoning ordinances on June 21, following a recommendation by the Chaves County Planning and Zoning Commission.

In other business, the Authority voted to name Chaves County Commissioner Robert Corn as its chair and Best as vice chair.

The authority meets only once a year or on an as-needed basis to hear appeals or consider ordinance changes. It previously met in October 2017 to amend an ordinance to give the ETZ authority over zoning issues affecting public lands in the ETZ area.

 

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