Local zoning up to voters in November
After a discussion that lasted only minutes, the Morgan County Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to let voters decide in November if zoning is in Morgan County’s future.
At the August 5 meeting, Commissioner Tommy Swaim made the motion to put the proposed rules on the ballot for November’s general election.
Swaim commented that the county had spent “a lot of money” and a lot of people had worked hard to prepare the ordinance.
He said it was time to take the matter to the public, let them decide and “live with the consequences.” He has been open about his opposition to zoning.
Commissioner Stacy Dugan agreed that county residents should get their chance to vote on whether to adopt the zoning rules. She
said bringing that issue to a public vote was one of her campaign issues.
“Now it’s time for the voters to decide,” said Commission
president Brenda Hutchinson, noting that the discussion over zoning has been active in the community for years.
Hutchinson pushed for a zoning study and the drafting of a zoning ordinance in the last year.
County Planner Alma Gorse said she is making final corrections and edits to ready the draft ordinance and the accompanying maps for meeting the schedule for ballot preparations.
No more changes can now be made to the proposed rules, which are available for review at the County Commission office in the courthouse and on the county government’s website.
The commissioners have spent roughly about $33,000 to prepare the zoning ordinance, according to Gorse. That includes nearly $10,000 for a legal review by Richard Gay and $22,500 for consulting and mapping by ARRO, a Hagerstown engineering firm.