Comprehensive Rezoning Plan Enters Final Stretch

SNOW HILL – The comprehensive rezoning should be delivered to the County Commissioners by mid-February, according to staff, bringing the final draft text to the public a few weeks shy of the third anniversary of passage of the new county comprehensive plan approved in March 2006.

The comprehensive rezoning will implement many of the provisions of the 2006 Comprehensive Plan, which have remained essentially unenforceable while the old zoning remains in force.

The commissioners instructed staff to concentrate full-time on the comprehensive rezoning last spring, with a goal of final draft completion by the end of 2008. The work needs to be completed before the 2009 budget process begins in March, the commissioners said at the time.

Development Review and Planning Director Ed Tudor delivered the most recent component of the rezoning, the new subdivision ordinance, to the County Commissioners this week.

In June, Tudor made a promise to the commissioners to submit the subdivision regulations to them by the end of the year, which was fulfilled at Tuesday’s meeting. The subdivision regulations are the final component of the rewritten zoning and subdivision control article.

“I feel like a big weight’s been taken off our shoulders at this point,” Tudor said.

The subdivision regulations should be followed in less than two months by the full text of the rezoning, most likely by mid-February, for commissioner and public review.

Tudor has been reviewing portions of the new zoning regulations with the Worcester County Planning Commission before delivering a final document to the county commissioners. The Planning Commission has chimed in with a “fair amount of comments,” Tudor said, but have had few if any major objections.

The review of the zoning section is 75 percent complete, according to Tudor.

“I think we’ll be through the zoning ordinance for sure before the end of January. We’ve got a couple of tough sections to go but the rest is relatively easy,” said Tudor. “I’m hopeful by mid-February we’ll be done with all of it.”

Tudor and his deputy director, Phyllis Wimbrow, recently completed preliminary work on the new zoning maps.

“A great Christmas present. Thank you,” said Commission President Louise Gulyas.