At a crossroads
Morgan County stands at the crossroads. If we are to retain our small town character, the planning commission’s Draft Zoning Study must be significantly modified before it is submitted to the Morgan County Commission for approval.
This draft promotes a highly complex, high density, rapid growth scenario, which serves the interests of the large developers. What is needed is a simple, easily understood, rural zoning ordinance, which promotes “smart growth.” The draft must be changed to serve the interests of the community, not the interests of the large developers.
Some of the important necessary changes are:
1. Protect water supply by restricting building in the floodplain.
2. Incorporate the Precautionary Principle. Prohibit taking risks with the water supply, in the draft to protect the recharge areas by preventing development which would effect water supply.
3. Provide open spaces necessary to retain rural character, preserve forests and wildlife, and sustain hunting and fishing areas.
We are in danger of becoming a suburban type community similar to Berkeley County with its over-development and congestion. This is potentially the end result of currently planned development by the Freeman Corporation (1100-1200 units), Snake Eyes (424 units) and Kesecker (114 units).
Something must be done to slow the uncontrolled development in Morgan County. The planning commission over the years has acted as a servant to the developers. This focus must be reversed if the citizens of the county are to continue to have a livable community. It is time to sound the alarm. Citizens must let the Planning Commission and the County Commission know they must put the community needs above the large developers in finalizing a zoning ordinance.
David S. Schwartz