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Land use hearing draws ire

POSTED: February 10, 2010 4:00 a.m.

Tempers flared Thursday night as Dawson County commissioners and residents sounded off on proposed changes to residential land use districts, which could affect short-term rental, home business and accessory buildings.

  

It was the second public hearing on the issue.

  

The board took no action, but revisions to the Dawson County Land Use Resolution could be voted on at a final public hearing Feb. 18.

  

Some at Thursday’s public hearing took issue with size limitations of accessory buildings, while others had problems with rules governing home offices and occupations.

  

For Caroline Cantrell of Dawson County, it all pointed to one issue in particular.

  

“I think we’ve got so much government right now, telling us what we can and can’t do that we don’t know whether to scratch our watch or wind our butt,” said Cantrell, who spoke during the public hearing.

  

“We need to stop imposing rules on people when we don’t have to, and this is one of those times when we don’t have to,” she added.

  

Dawson County resident Herb Glassman also spoke his piece.

  

“At the last [public hearing], I heard a whole lot of ‘me’ and not much of ‘us.’” Glassman said. “They’re talking about how things impact them, and they never once talk about how it impacts the county.”

  

When residents finished giving their input, the commission closed the public hearing. Commissioner Gary Pichon presented a rough draft of detailed changes to the land use resolution.

  

It upset Commissioner Mike Connor.

  

“I think we need to talk about the overall concept of this thing,” Connor said.

  

“[Pichon] is going to get into particulars right now. He’s ready to wrap this thing up.”

  

Added Connor: “All right, go ahead with it. I’m sure it will be voted in. This is not the way government is supposed to operate.”

  

Pichon read down the list of proposed changes, and the board voted to make several alterations to the document before posting it on the county’s Web site.

  

The original ordinance was drafted by a citizens committee made up by each member of the county’s planning commission and their alternates.

  

The most recent draft version can be viewed at www.dawsoncounty.org.

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