Why pay $319,000 for a consultant and not wait for a recommendation?

Pittsboro, NC – The newest commissioners are pushing to implement county wide zoning. The residents, the Planning Board, the Farm Bureau, the Cattleman’s Association, members of Farm Credit, the Agri-business council, and the Agriculture Advisory Committee have all recommended that no additional zoning be implemented west of Hwy 87.

Jim Crawford, Diana Hales, Karen Howard

Liberal Chatham County commissioners Jim Crawford, Diana Hales and Karen Howard

Without a comprehensive plan, zoning for the sake of zoning can have long term detrimental impacts on our community. Commissioners Howard, Hales, and Crawford have just awarded a $319,000 contract to a consultant to develop such a plan.  For some reason they want to move forward without the plan. This makes no sense and is major intrusion into property rights.

If we going to spend $319,000 in taxpayer money  let’s at least see what the consultants recommend before we start changing our zoning. Could it be that the new commissioner are concerned the results won’t be what they want?

Their latest tactic is to send emails claiming county wide zoning is the only way to protect residents from unwanted fracking. Commissioner Karen Howard is an attorney and should know that is incorrect but allows this falsehood to perpetuate. State law is very clear. There is no zoning that will prohibit fracking. If they want to protect against fracking they should meet with the Mining and Energy commission to find out what our real options are. As of yesterday, nobody from Chatham County has reached out to the commission to start that discussion.

Ask the new commissioners why they feel they know better than all of these groups and and residents who own the land. Ask them to slow down.