Commissioners disband Land Use Steering Committee

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
On a split vote Monday night, county commissioners disbanded the West Rowan Land Use Steering Committee.
The vote came shortly after James Rollans, a member of the committee, urged commissioners to leave the steering committee in place.
Commissioners appointed the committee more than a year ago to develop a plan for all unincorporated areas west of Interstate 85.
Rollans, a Mount Ulla farmer, said the committee could assist in developing a plan for eastern Rowan. He cited a recommendation in the land-use study that the steering committee have a formal role in future planning.
Rollans suggested possible work sessions with the Planning Board and Board of Commissioners to explain the document completed last week.
He told commissioners that to “disband the committee is premature.”
Chairman Arnold Chamberlain said the committee has done a “whale of a job,” adding that the county staff and Benchmark, the Kannapolis consultants, will take the plan before the Planning Board and to the Board of Commissioners.
“Their job is done,” said Chamberlain, making the motion to disband the committee effective Monday night.
Vice Chairman Chad Mitchell and commissioners Tina Hall and Jim Sides supported the motion.
Commissioner Jon Barber praised the group, saying they have done a phenomenal job. He said he would like to see the committee stay in place.
After the 4-1 vote, Chamberlain asked that a letter of appreciation be sent to 10 members of the 11-member committee.
One member, Paula Holte, who applied and was appointed to represent the China Grove township, attended meetings at the outset and was elected co-chairman. For the past several months, she did not attend meetings or respond to calls from the county planning staff.Chamberlain said members of the former steering committee are welcome to attend public hearings and speak on the plan.
The Rowan County Planning Board will take up the land-use study Monday night but likely won’t hold a hearing until the September meeting.