Commentary – A VERY Bad Idea
The Lyon County Commissioners on Thursday, July 3 will reconsider a proposal to create an advisory committee to ‘assist’ the County with the updating of Title 15 – the County Land Use & Development Codes.
(With one commissioner absent, the proposal died 2-2 at the June 19 meeting.)
This idea was proposed by Commissioners Bob Hastings and Vida Keller; and, with apparently no one in favor of such a committee except Commissioners Hastings and Keller (Comstock Mining’s legislative dynamic duo), one has to wonder what the purpose of such a proposal could be.
IT IS A BAD IDEA….IT IS A RIDICULOUS IDEA!!
Dealing with the updating and amending of any County Code is a huge task. Title 15 is probably one of the most difficult and complex. It deals with all aspects of county land use and private property regulations, inevitably creating many controversial and contentious issues. It is more important than the Land Use Master Plan in that an ordinance creates laws to be followed, while a Master Plan creates philosophical and recommended future land use guidelines.
But, just like a Land Use Master Plan, a county ordinance dealing with land use attracts various political interest groups and the interest of private citizens – whether it be developer, mining, agricultural or general private property interests.
If the outcry of various individuals is any indication, there are already some very contentious issues in regards to proposed amendments to Title 15…..and there will continue to be controversy right through and after the day it is finally approved; however, the formation of an advisory committee will not change that fact. An advisory committee will not smooth the process – or make the development of a final document any more open or transparent
There is a regulated public hearing process in place, and the Planning Commission and Planning Department are doing their part in following it. There has been proper public notice of meetings and ample opportunity for public input – from private citizens and various land use ‘experts’. It is the responsibility of the public to partake of these opportunities – and an ‘advisory committee’ will not increase those opportunities. In reality, an ‘advisory committee’ could create a shadow effect over the current public awareness of meetings and subsequent participation.
One thing is certain – the creation of an advisory committee will further delay and overcomplicate the process – and offer an increased opportunity for politically motivated special interest influence.
In listening to the June 19 testimony and commissioner input – it sounded as if Commissioners Hastings and Keller have themselves ready to be the ‘suggested’ commissioner representatives on their proposed committee, with ideas of a rather large (15-20) representation (of public volunteers? or appointees?).
There being no rational reason for the creation of such a committee, I would guess it is simply a political ploy by the Comstock Mining legislative dynamic duo to enable creation of an ordinance to someone’s political benefit.
Think about it.
(See history of process below…)
Nancy Dallas, Editor/Publisher
HISTORY OF TITLE 15 REVIEW PROCESS TO THIS POINT:
The Planning Department went to the Board of Commissioners on June 20, 2013, to obtain authorization to conduct a public involvement program to gather public and community comment on the working draft of the Land use and development code. The Planning Department proposed a public involvement program that included the Community Advisory Boards, community workshops, special interest group workshops, Planning Commission review and joint meetings of the Planning Commission and Board of Commissioners.
The Planning Director attended the meetings of most of the Advisory Boards to orient them to the working draft and request public comment. The Planning Commission reviewed the working draft at each regular monthly Planning Commission meeting and special Planning Commission workshops ( all of these meetings were/are public meetings). The Planning Commission started to review the draft Land Use and Development Code at their June meeting.
The bulk of the public involvement program has not yet been initiated. It has been intended that the public involvement program would begin when the completed draft code was available.