We don’t need no stinking comp plan…

The Inside Scoop reports that Greensboro is going all the way to Raleigh to relieve itself from following provisions of its very own Connections 2025 Comprehensive Plan. 

H1195, filed by Rep. Maggie Jeffus, raises a defiant middle finger to the thousands of hours of work that went into a document that was supposed to guide Greensboro’s land-use for the foreseeable future.  Adopted by our City Council in 2003, the thing has been pretty much ignored ever since.  I suppose someone finally decided to dispense with any pretension that the plan is actually, well… a plan.  It should have been called ‘Connection Suggestions 2025.’

Who is that ‘someone’, I wonder?  The bill is short and to the point and has the smell of TREBIC all over it.

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Greensboro City Council and the Greensboro Zoning Commission are not required to make findings of fact as to whether their respective decisions are in compliance with the City’s comprehensive plan when either body votes on a zoning request.”

Amazing… really.  If this bill passes, and future plan changes don’t require a formal ‘findings of fact’, the City of Greensboro will have successfully relinquished control of its future growth to the whims and wants of developers and the considerable sway they hold over many of our elected officials.

Update: Councilman Tom Phillips, in the comments at the Scoop… “…The Council will still debate the merits of any proposed change in the plan but we won’t have to read some boiler plate findings that are provided to us.”

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4 Comments

  1. Posted March 29, 2007 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    What? A PAC trying to exert political pressure?

  2. Posted March 29, 2007 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Hey,

    I hate to say “I told you so, No, not really; I love to.

    I knew, and said so, that the comprehensive plan was a waste of time and would never be implemented, even as a guideline. What a joke it has become.

  3. Tom Phillips
    Posted March 29, 2007 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    David, Trebic had nothing to do with it. I brought it up. Watch a Council meeting and you will see what I’m talking about. After we discuss the pros and cons of a comp plan change, we read a prepared findings of fact. It is prepared by the planning department and has findings for us to read if we are for or against the change. It makes us “legal” but it is meaningless. That is why I suggested that this requirement be removed. Our discussion is the true findings of fact.

  4. Posted March 30, 2007 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Yeah, my TREBIC quip was over the top, sorry. It was more for the benefit of Joe Guarino than anything else.. But I’m sure many of their members are pretty happy about it because of what the Bill does for watering down the Comp plan.

    The “finding of fact” is an integral part of the quasi-judicial process that causes Council’s changes to the comp plan to have the force of law. Eliminating that part of of the process is just another step towards relegating the comp plan to the trash heap of a long list of citizen efforts in my opinion.

    The provisions of Connections 2025 called for revisions only twice a year because the people who worked on it didn’t think it ought to be changed every Tuesday evening. You guys agreed with that when you adopted it but have not adhered to what you adopted. You guys ought to just repeal the Plan’s adoption.

    Reading the “findings of fact” into the record is an onerous part of the process which OUGHT to be a little more difficult than adopting a resolution or changing a zoning designation. The comp plan was heralded as a road map to quide the current and future councils… to provide quideposts to where we want to go with regard to development et al. Changes to it were supposed to be difficult and rare and backed up by “findings of fact” as to how such changes affect the document as a whole.

    In my view, anything that makes changes to the Plan ought to have a few hurdles thrown in its way. This bill helps to further reduce the Plan to a series of Suggestions by taking away a key provision of the council’s quasi-judicial responsibilities.

One Trackback

  1. By Piedmont Publius » Blog Archive » on March 30, 2007 at 10:00 am

    [...] Aside from Hoggard, who says Jeffus is raising a defiant middle finger to the city’s comp plan, commentary on the subject has been nonexistent, although I expect an editorial from the N&R denouncing the bill any day now. [...]